TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) — Florida State, which has won each of its four games at home, plays host to Minnesota on November 28, 2016 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee in the 18th Annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Florida State and Minnesota have played five times in the challenge with the Golden Gophers holding a 3-2 edge in the series. In Minnesota, Florida State is playing its most common challenge opponent with the teams meeting for the sixth time in the event. Florida State has six wins in the Challenge with four coming at home. The Seminoles are just back from a third-place finish in the NIT Season Tip-Off where they defeated Winthrop (100-86, Nov. 18), Detroit Mercy (100-71, Dec. 20) and Illinois (72-61, Nov. 25) but fell to tournament champion Temple (89-86, Nov. 24) in the semifinals of the tournament. Following Monday’s game against Minnesota, the Seminoles travel to play George Washington in the BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, December 2, 2016. The Seminoles return home for three straight games after their game against George Washington with contests coming versus Southern Miss (Dec. 6, 7:00 p.m.), Nicholls State (Dec. 8, 9:00 p.m.) and Florida (Dec. 11, 4:00 p.m.).
FLORIDA STATE VS. MINNESOTA – A SERIES HISTORY
Florida State plays host to Minnesota in the 18th Annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Seminoles and the Gophers will play for the 11th time with this meeting becoming the sixth time these two teams will meet in the Challenge. The Seminoles are 3-2 against Minnesota in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge after winning the first three games of the series in the challenge. The last time these two teams met was during the 2014 Postseason NIT – a game won by Minnesota, 67-64, in overtime at Madison Square Garden. Minnesota is coached by Richard Pitino – the son of current Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. The Seminoles have played against a Pitino-coached team seven times – Rick (as the head coach at Kentucky and Louisville) and Richard (as an assistant at Florida) during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons and (as the head coach at Minnesota) twice during the 2013-14 season. Assistant coach Ben Johnson, who has been at Minnesota since the start of the 2012-13 season has coached against Florida State twice as has assistant as has assistant coach Nate Pomeday who was the Gophers’ Director of Operations during the 2013-14 season and assistant coach Kamani Young who is in his fourth season on Pitino’s staff at Minnesota.
SEMINOLES TO HONOR NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE AGAINST MINNESOTA
The Florida State men’s basketball team will wear turquoise Nike N7 uniforms against Minnesota on Monday to raise awareness for bringing sport to Native American and Aboriginal youth. It marks the seventh time (and first time this season) the Seminoles will wear the special uniforms. Florida State makes a distinct departure from its traditional school colors to don turquoise Nike N7 uniforms to stand for the importance of bringing sport and physical activity to Native American and Aboriginal youth. “The Seminole Tribe of Florida approached us about this program and we are honored and excited to wear these unique uniforms,” said head coach Leonard Hamilton. “The color is significant as it is deeply symbolic of friendship and community in the Native American culture.” Florida State’s game against Minnesota marks the seventh time in the last four seasons the Seminoles will have worn the very special uniforms. The Seminoles first wore the turquoise uniforms in their 89-61 win over UT-Martin in Tallahassee on November 17, 2013.
BACON NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM AT NIT SEASON-TIP-OFF
Sophomore Dwayne Bacon, who averaged 19.0 and 1.8 rebounds in four games during the NIT Season Tip-Off, was named to the All-Tournament team. It marked the second consecutive early season tournament that he has earned All-Tournament team honors at being named to the All-Tournament team at the 2015 Paradise Jam. Bacon was also named the MVP of the Seminoles’ victory over Florida Atlantic in 2015 Orange Bowl Classic