Aug. 25, 2009
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With 10 opponents that played in the 2008-09 NCAA Tournament and eight more that participated in the NIT, the Florida State men's basketball team could play 22 games against teams that played in the postseason a year ago as eighth-year head coach Leonard Hamilton released the Seminoles' 2009-10 schedule.
The Seminoles will play 14 nationally televised games during the regular season - up from eight nationally televised games a year ago. A total of 27 of the Seminoles' 31 games are scheduled to be televised with only four games not currently scheduled for television. There were six games that were not televised during the regular season a year ago.
The 31-game schedule includes contests at defending national champion North Carolina, Duke, Florida and Ohio State in the 11th Annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Seminoles will play host to Auburn, Florida International and its new coach Isiah Thomas as well as NCAA Tournament participants Boston College, Clemson, Maryland and Wake Forest.
"Our RPI ranked us as the 15th best team in the nation and our strength of schedule was No. 17 in all of college basketball last season," said Hamilton. "We have significantly increased the strength of our schedule; if you look at our non-conference schedule and combine it with our ACC schedule I think we could play one of the toughest schedules in the country this season."
Florida State played in the NCAA Tournament and in the championship game of the ACC Tournament for the first time in school history as they finished the 2008-09 season with a 25-10 overall record and a 10-6 mark in ACC play. Hamilton was named the ACC Coach of the Year for the first time in his career and was tabbed as the National Coach of the Year by Basketball Times.
The Seminoles, who finished the 2008-09 season ranked No. 16 in the final Associated Press poll and No. 22 in the final ESPN/USA Today poll will play No. 1 ranked North Carolina, No. 6 Duke, No 12 Wake Forest and could play No. 21 Xavier or No. 23 Marquette in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. (Nov. 26-29). Florida State will open the three-game Old Spice Classic against Iona with all of the games to be played at the Milk House at Disney's Wide World of Sports.
"We feel this schedule is very representative of the direction the program is heading on a national level," said Hamilton. "As we continue to improve as a basketball team we are able to play the type of schedule that our players want to face and that our fans want to watch. We begin our season with Jacksonville which played in the NIT and was only one win away from playing in the NCAA Tournament. Additionally, Florida is annually one of the best teams in the nation and always an NCAA Tournament candidate. Then you move into the Old Spice Classic which has developed into one of the nation's best tournaments. Of the eight teams in that event, only two did not play in the postseason a year ago and Xavier, Creighton, Michigan and Baylor are all favored to compete for their respective league championships this season."
There are two first-time opponents on the Seminoles' schedule: Iona in the first round of the Old Spice Classic and Alabama A&M in Tallahassee on Dec. 31. Additionally, the Seminoles could meet up with five opponents they haven't played in at least 20 years during the Old Spice Classic. Florida State could play Alabama (the two teams have not played since 1986), Baylor (1972), Creighton (1964), Marquette (1981) and Xavier (1958).
The Seminoles will play host to Tennessee-Martin, marking the first time Florida will face the Skyhawks since the 1984-85 season. Florida State's Hamilton is a 1971 graduate of UT-Martin. It will mark the first time in his career he will face his alma mater.
Florida State will play at Ohio State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge marking the second consecutive season the Seminoles have played on the road in the challenge. The Seminoles are 6-4 all-time in challenge play and are 5-2 in the event under Hamilton. This is the first meeting between the Seminoles and Buckeyes in Challenge play.
The Seminoles will open ACC play at Georgia Tech on December 20. It marks the eighth time in school history, and the first time since a victory against the Yellow Jackets on Dec. 30, 2007 that Florida State will play a December league game.
Season tickets are availible by logging onto seminoles.com.