Andrew Miller, Correspondent
TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www.franchisesportsonline.net) – Following a historic season, Florida State has been selected to participate in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the first time since 2012.
The Seminoles (25-8) are slotted as a No. 3 seed in the West Region, and will face off against Florida Gulf Coast (26-7) on Thursday, March 16 in Orlando.
The No. 3 seed is tied for the highest seed that the Noles have earned in school history, having been to the Big Dance as a three-seed in 1992, 1993, and 2012. The appearance marks the fifth NCAA tournament bid under coach Leonard Hamilton.
Its bid certainly does not come as a surprise, either. The Noles, who boast a much stronger resume compared to previous years, finished the season ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll, and at one point emerged victorious in 5 out of 6 consecutive games against ranked opponents. They also finished a whopping 18-0 at the Tucker Center—the school’s sixth undefeated season at home and first since the 1975-76 season.
The Seminoles, fresh off a disappointing loss to Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament Semifinals, are undoubtedly hungry to get the bitter taste of defeat out of their mouth. The Eagles, who are ranked 299th in tempo, will surely look to slow the game down to commit as few turnovers as possible against a more talented team in Florida State.
If the Noles can rebound at a high rate and get ahead of the Eagles’ defense on fast breaks, they should be poised for a win. The Noles are 12-point favorites.