Tulane vs. Florida State NCAA Basketball Picks and Predictions

Kevin Cross #5 and Gabe Watson #0 of the Tulane Green Wave in action. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP

These two schools will clash and each wants to put their last loss behind them and get back over .500.  Florida State is the favorite, but do they get the job done against Tulane?

The Green Wave and the Seminoles enter the action on Thursday hardly confident after hard to explain setbacks. Tulane had games against SE Louisiana and Southern U. and were double-digit home favorites in both. They escaped against the Lions 70-67, but had no such luck against Southern as 12-point faves, falling 73-70.

Florida State has many new faces on its roster and went to Gainesville to face rival Florida and got manhandled 71-55 as 1.5-point favorites. The Seminoles got worked on the glass, losing the rebounding battle 44-33, which led to their demise to the Gators.

With both teams anxious to hit the court and show improvement, the betting odds at top sportsbooks have Florida State at -18, with a total of 139.5. Who moves past their last loss faster?

Tulane Green Wave vs. Florida State Seminoles

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at Donald L. Tucker Center

Tulane Has a Great Deal of Work to Do

Coach Ron Hunter after success at Georgia State, moved to Tulane, making more cash and having bigger budgets to work within a larger conference. The problem is it’s Tulane, and he comes into this season with his squad predicted to be at or in the basement of the AAC. Like in football, a few teams carry the load in the American Conference and the rest are average or well below. The latest Sagarin Ratings have the AAC 7th overall.

Tulane is not totally devoid of talent. All-Conference guard Jalen Forbes can play, but he’s off to a slow start shooting-wise at only 28 percent and he will find his shot before long. He’s probably adjusting to a talented running mate in the backcourt in LSU transfer Jalen Cook, who is averaging 23.5 PPG and handing out 5.5 assists.

Kevin Cross is a good scorer at 12 PPG and at 6-8, 240, is good in the paint. Unfortunately, scoring options are slim after that for the Green Wave and Florida State have the size in the frontcourt to negate Cross.

Coach Hamilton Hopes Florida Loss Is Growth Moment

Leonard Hamilton was well aware the early season would be a challenge for the Seminoles replacing four of its top five scorers and six of the top 10 in minutes.

When talking about his team at Florida, he was pleased about the first 31 minutes in which his club had a two-point lead. What he was disappointed in was their response when the Gators went on a run, the crowd got raucous and his team became tepid.

“I’ll admit, Hamilton said, that we’ve had to make some adjustments into who we are with having so many new inexperienced players that are playing a really, really major role in who we are and what we’re about.”

A big part of that is leadership and that is where seniors Rayquan Evans, Anthony Polite and Malik Osbourne have to take ownership of this squad. This is their team and moment and they have to work the younger players and transfers into the mix to make them feel comfortable along with being responsible.

Their leadership has to be by example when it comes to playing more physically, yet be smart. A game like this starts that process, especially when the Noles travel to Purdue at the end of the month.

What Is the Best Side to Be On?

In looking at this matchup for college basketball picks, look for Tulane to keep this close for a while. As mentioned, they do have a few good players, but over the course of 40 minutes, the depth and size of Florida State will come into play and two or three 6-0 or 7-1 spurts open up a working margin.

From a situational perspective, the Seminoles fit the bill also having an 11-3 ATS record at home when playing just two times over a week and they are 8-1 ATS at the Donald L. Tucker Center when the total is 130 to 139.5.

College Basketball Pick: Florida State -18 (-110) at BetRivers