The NCAA basketball tournament always seems to produce more than its fair share of stories and Florida State's involvement in The Big Dance on the men's side certainly fills that bill.During this first week of the tournament, we thought it could be interesting to take a brief insider's look at FSU's appearances since 1987...
Associate AD Rob Wilson shares his memories from the Florida State Seminoles NCAA Tournament runs.
Florida State surprised the basketball world with their
tremendous success in their first year in the ACC and advancing to within a
game of the Elite Eight in the NCAA in 1991-92, but there would be no sneaking
up on anyone in 1992-93.
The Seminoles boasted virtually the same lineup from a year
before with the only real drama being when quarterback/point guard Charlie Ward
would join the team.
The ACC blue-blood media wagged figurative fingers at FSU
suggesting there was no way the upstarts would do to the proud league what they
did the year before.
Ward was still sore from the pounding he took against
Nebraska's defense in winning the football national championship game in the
Orange Bowl when he dressed out for the first time against Virginia. FSU loss to the Cavs, but settled the
lineup and lost just once in its next 14 games. The Seminoles finished the regular season 22-8 and 12-4 in
the ACC repeating as regular season runners-up.
FSU had been selected for the NCAA Tournament for a third
consecutive year, but this one had a whole different feel.The Seminoles were one of the nation's
top teams and instead of far-off first round games, the Tribe began the run in
Florida State polished off first round Evansville in efficient
fashion with a more difficult than expected 82-70 score.They found themselves against a
familiar foe in the second round against former Metro Conference member Tulane.Sam Cassell set an NCAA Tournament
record hitting all seven of his three point shots and FSU had little trouble
polishing off the Green Wave 94-63.
The win propelled FSU to the Sweet 16 for a second
consecutive year and to Charlotte, NC for a matchup against a dangerous Western
Kentucky team.The game was tied
at the half at 40 and FSU could hardly breathe in the second half, but won
81-78 and were one of just eight teams left in the tournament.
FSU's win set-up a dream matchup for CBS as Kentucky was
playing perhaps the best basketball of any team in the tournament using a suffocating
full court press defense and the Seminoles had become the team everyone wanted
to watch with high-flying offensive skills and the football star at point