GREENSBORO, N.C. — They've both seen the other at their best.
When Maryland lost to Florida State on Jan. 12, the Terrapins watched in disbelief as the Seminoles drained 16 of 24 3-point attempts in an eventual 85-61 victory.
Four weeks later, in College Park, it was Florida State's turn to be stunned as Maryland point guard Seth Allen hit a career-high seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 32 points in a 83-71 victory.
Round 3 between the two potential NCAA bubble teams is at 11 a.m. today at the Greensboro Coliseum.
"This time of year you realize what you're playing for," FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "All teams have high emotions. They're all trying to move on and prepare for the postseason tournament or play (themselves) into the postseason tournament. So I think you're getting everyone's best shot."
Since erupting for 32 against the Seminoles, Allen has scored 20-plus points three more times. He's hit 40 percent of his 3-pointers on the year and has proven to be one of the top offensive point guards in the ACC.
Still, that 32-point performance baffles the Florida State players. Especially considering Allen was 0 for 8 and had just one point in the first meeting between the two.
"Last game he did a good job of just hitting shots," said FSU guard Aaron Thomas, who had 17 points and eight rebounds in the loss in College Park. "He had, what? Twenty-two in the first half? I think we've got to do a better job on him and playing team defense."
With Allen (13.2 points per game) and Dez Wells (14.8) leading the way, Maryland is third in the ACC in points per game. The Terrapins like to run. And they look to run. While they've struggled on defense at times this season, their offense has consistently been one of the best in the conference.
It starts with the point guard, Hamilton said.
"He's unbelievably quick, he has good finishing moves at the basket and he has unlimited range," Hamilton said of Allen, who hit six 3's in a loss to Syracuse in February. "So that's a handful for anyone to defend. Sometimes, it's like you just hope he misses.
"But we've got to do a better job of making him work for his shots. Dez Wells, if you let him get out in transition he's almost unguardable. So that means that the whole team has to get back in defense and not give him those lanes to see the basket."
If the Seminoles have any shot of getting an NCAA Tournament berth they have to win today's game. It's that simple. Granted, they would still have to figure out a way to beat regular-season ACC champ Virginia on Friday, but if they don't get to Friday then the chances of hearing good news on Selection Sunday are right around zero percent.
So today is an enormous game.
There just won't be an enormous crowd.
With two non-North Carolina schools playing at noon on a weekday, it's likely the Greensboro Coliseum won't even be half full when the game tips off.
That will make for a sterile atmosphere – at least initially – as the Seminoles and Terrapins fight for their postseason lives.
"I don't think it's going to play a big factor in the game," FSU sophomore center Boris Bojanovsky said of the crowd. "It's just who's going to bring it more?"