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Jackets Visit No. 15 Florida State for ACC Opener

THE FLATS – Looking to build on a pair of decisive wins away from home last week, Georgia Tech travels again this week, visiting defending Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State in the conference opener for both teams at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla.

The Yellow Jackets (2-2, 0-0 ACC) shook off a pair of home losses to start the season by firmly defeating No. 20 Kentucky, 79-62, on Dec. 6 at State Farm Arena and following that win with a 75-64 triumph Wednesday night at Nebraska in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Returning four starters from last year’s fifth-place ACC team, including a pair of All-ACC honorees in guards Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe, Tech has its most experienced and deepest roster yet under head coach Josh Pastner, now in his fifth season on The Flats.

No. 15 Florida State (3-0, 0-0 ACC) downed a pair of power conference teams at home last week, scoring a last-second, 69-67 victory in overtime over Indiana on Wednesday and defeating cross-state rival Florida, 83-71, on Saturday. In their 19th season under head coach Leonard Hamilton, the Seminoles return three starters from last year’s 26-5 team, led by Atlanta-area senior guard M.J. Walker.

Tuesday’s game will be televised nationally on the ACC Network and will be streamed live on the ESPN app. Radio coverage is provided by the Georgia Tech Sports Network by LearfieldIMG College, with flagship station WCNN-Radio (680 AM, 93.7 FM) in Atlanta. The Tech broadcast can be heard on satellite radio (SiriusXM Ch. 380, internet Ch. 970) and the TuneIn app.

Junior guard Michael Devoe speaks with the media.

THE TIPOFF

  • Georgia Tech reeled off four consecutive ACC wins to end the 2019-20 campaign, the longest streak for the program since late in 2015-16. The Yellow Jackets have not won five straight ACC games since closing out the 2001-02 regular season with five straight.
  • Tech had a 5-5 road record in ACC play last season, the best mark percentage-wise for the program since the 2007-08 season (4-4). The Jackets are 7-7 in true road games overall, 8-7 away from McCamish Pavilion, since the beginning of the 2019-20 season.
  • This is the fourth December meeting between Tech and FSU. The teams collided on New Year’s Eve last season in Tallahassee and squared off in 2007 and 2009 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta. The Seminoles won all three.
  • Late start – Due to Covid-19, the NCAA pushed back the start of the 2020-21 season to Nov. 25, two weeks later than normal. Division I teams are allowed to play a maximum of 27 games. The ACC will play a 20-game schedule for the second straight year, and teams are allowed a maximum of seven non-conference games. Tech has seven non-conference games scheduled, none yet postponed.
  • Tech ranks third in the ACC in scoring average (86.75 points per game), much of that a product of its 123-120, four-overtime loss to Georgia State. However, the Jackets scored 77 in regulation of that game, and have scored more than 70 points in each game this season, something which has happened only once before under Josh Pastner.
  • Small ball – Tech moved 6-9 senior Moses Wright, who has played the “4” position most of his career, into the “5” spot and started 5-10 senior Bubba Parham against Kentucky. The re-alignment has worked as the Jackets have shot 48.3 percent from the floor, hit 16 three-point field goals, turned the ball over just 15 times and forced 37 in its wins over Kentucky and Nebraska.
  • Tech has four of the top 10 players in the ACC in average minutes played (Moses Wright, Jose Alvarado, Bubba Parham, Michael Devoe). Notre Dame also has four.

Head coach Josh Pastner speaks to the media.

SERIES VS. FLORIDA STATE

  • Florida State has won 14 of the last 16 meetings in the series and each of the last four, including a 70-58 win last Dec. 31 in Tallahassee, the teams’ only meeting of the 2019-20 season.
  • Tech and FSU had met just once in nine of the last 10 seasons.
  • Since FSU joined the ACC, Tech is 18-29 against the Seminoles. Florida State won the first six in a row, Tech followed by winning five straight, and is 13-23 against the Seminoles since then.
  • In those 46 games, 21 have been decided by four points or less, 32 by fewer than 10 points. One of those games went to double-overtime, which the Yellow Jackets won 111-108 on Feb. 11, 1999 in Tallahassee.
  • Tech is 16-18 against the Seminoles in Atlanta, 0-3 at McCamish Pavilion. The Jackets have not beaten FSU in Atlanta since the 2006-07 season. (Tech’s 78-56 victory at McCamish Pavilion during the 2016-17 season was vacated by the NCAA.)
  • Tech is 7-17 against Seminoles teams led by head coach Leonard Hamilton. Tech is 8-17 against Hamilton overall, with a victory over his Miami team in December of 1997.
  • Tech is 11-23 in games played in Tallahassee, including an 8-16 mark at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, formerly known as the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center.
  • Tech and Florida State were both members of the old Metro Conference from 1976-78, and the Seminoles won three of those four meetings.
  • Florida State has won both ACC Tournament meetings between the schools, including a 64-62 win at the Georgia Dome in 2009.

Moses Wright ranks No. 2 in the ACC in scoring and rebounding. (photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images)

 

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and Athletics Initiative 2020, Georgia Tech athletics’ ongoing $125 million initiative to allow Tech to recruit the nation’s most elite student-athletes, build a better student-athlete once they arrive on The Flats and, ultimately, win! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.   

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its fifth season under head coach Josh Pastner, having finished fifth in the ACC in 2019-20, the program’s highest finish since 2005. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram. For more information on Tech basketball, visit Ramblinwreck.com.

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