FSU Men Anxiously Await NCAA Seeding, Destination
By Tim Linafelt
Seminoles.com Senior Writer
NEW YORK – While there was plenty of disappointment in the Florida State locker room at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center early Saturday morning, the promise of a berth in the NCAA tournament helped take the sting out of FSU’s loss to Notre Dame in the ACC tournament semifinals.
With a 25-8 record, a second-place finish in the ACC standings and seven victories over Top-25 opponents, the Seminoles are assured of an at-large bid to the Big Dance, which begins next week.
FSU is set to make its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2012, which means March Madness debuts for everyone on the Seminoles’ roster.
“There’s no doubt that this is something that we’ve been looking forward to,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “Now we what we have to do is go out and perform well in it.”
While the Seminoles won’t know their full tournament fate until Sunday’s selection show (CBS, 5:30 p.m.), they at least have a good idea of where they’ll be headed.
Based on FSU’s resume, almost every college hoops analyst projects the Seminoles projected as a 2- or 3-seed, which places them among the committees “protected seeds.”
Per the NCAA rulebook, the committee “shall not place teams seeded on the first five lines at a potential ‘home-crowd disadvantage’ in the (first) round.”
That means the Seminoles are likely headed for Orlando, which will host first- and second-round games at the Amway Center next week.
Beyond Orlando, FSU’s path to the Final Four is less clear. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently has the Seminoles as a 3-seed in the West region, starting in Orlando then moving on to San Jose, Calif., if they advance to the Sweet 16.
CBSSports’ Jerry Palm, meanwhile, has FSU’s road going from Orlando to Kansas City, Mo., in the Midwest region.
The other regional sites are Memphis, Tenn., and New York.
The Seminoles aren’t especially concerned with where they’re playing – only that they’re playing.
“There’s definitely going to be some excitement, just because we haven’t been here in a while,” FSU sophomore Terance Mann said. “So we want to see what it’s like.”
Hamilton said that, after a two-game stay in the ACC tournament, the Seminoles are confident heading into the next stage of postseason play.
FSU used its depth to wear down Virginia Tech in a quarterfinal on Thursday, then rallied from 16 points down and lost by four to Notre Dame in a semifinal on Friday.
“I think we’re going to be a tough out for anybody,” he said. “I think we’ve grown up a lot. We’ve learned from a lot of our mistakes and we’re excited about where we are as we move to and prepare for the NCAA tournament.”
Noles In Bracketology:
Joe Lunardi, ESPN: No. 3 seed, playing in Orlando (West region) against No. 14-seed Winthrop
Jerry Palm, CBS Sports: No. 3 seed, playing in Orlando (Midwest region) against No. 14-seed Florida Gulf Coast
Stewart Mandel, Fox Sports: No. 3 seed, playing in Orlando (Midwest region) against Akron
Shelby Mast, USA TODAY: No. 2 seed, playing in Orlando (Midwest region) against CSU Bakersfield
Dave Ommen, NBC Sports: No. 3 seed, playing in Orlando (West region) against Winthrop
Andy Bottoms, AssemblyCall.com: No. 3 seed, playing in Orlando (West region) against Florida Gulf Coast
Chris Dobbertean, SBNation: No. 3 seed, playing in Orlando (Midwest region) against Florida Gulf Coast