TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State will host Florida and Purdue in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, highlighting its 13-game, non-conference men’s basketball schedule in 2018-19. The Seminoles’ slate also includes a New Year’s Day home date with Winthrop, a trip to Disney World for the loaded AdvoCare Invitational, a match-up with UConn in the Never Forget Tribute Classic in New Jersey and a seventh consecutive appearance in the Orange Bowl Classic at Sunrise, Fla.
“This is a very challenging schedule,” said Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. “Florida was an NCAA Tournament team in 2018. They will be picked very high in the SEC. The AdvoCare Classic in Orlando is probably the most loaded of the tournaments in the preseason. Villanova is the defending National Champion and a potential opponent, LSU is a trendy pick in the SEC; Memphis has hired Penny Hardaway as its head coach, and they are always good. Oklahoma State just missed the NCAA Tournament last season, and they have most of their players back. UAB, our first round opponent in the tournament, could be picked to win Conference USA. Purdue was a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will be among the favorites in the Big 10. UConn has won four national championships, and they are always one of the top teams in the country. Winthrop will be one of the favorites in the Big South and are favored to go back to the NCAA Tournament.”
Florida State (23-12) advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and returns three starters to its lineup. The Seminoles are included in the national top-15 in virtually every early pre-season poll and return more than 75 percent of their scoring and more than 76 percent of their rebounding. Florida State was one of two ACC teams to advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2018.
Phil Cofer (12.8 ppg / 5.1 rpg) and Terance Mann (12.6 ppg / 5.4 rpg) are Florida State’s top two returning scorers and rebounders from a team that finished third in the ACC in scoring (80.2 ppg). They were both named to the NCAA Tournament All-West Region Team after leading the Seminoles to wins over No. 8 seeded Missouri, No. 1 seeded Xavier and No. 4 seeded Gonzaga to advance within one game of the Final Four.
“We feel very good about our team, our upper class leadership and where we are as a program on the national level, to be able to successfully attack the schedule we have put together. Our non-conference, coupled with our always-demanding ACC schedule, will certainly put us in position and prepare us for where we want to be come March.”
Including Florida State’s non-conference and ACC schedule, the Seminoles could play 11 teams featured in the early season compilation of the nation’s top-25.
The Seminoles will play 16 homes games (seven non-conference and nine ACC games) at the Donald L. Tucker Center this season, including seven teams that played in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Following two exhibition games (Oct. 24, Nov. 1) at home, Florida State will play its earliest season-opener in school history when it hosts Florida on Nov. 6 at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The Seminoles will look to earn their school record fifth consecutive win in the annual Sunshine Showdown Presented by Fresh From Florida. Florida State’s game against the Gators will serve as the season opener for the Seminoles for just the sixth time in school history and first time since the 2001-02 season. The game will begin Florida State’s home schedule for just the third time since the series began during the 1951-52 season.
The Seminoles will then play at Tulane (Nov. 11) in a true non-conference road game in the Devlin Fieldhouse on the Green Wave’s New Orleans campus before playing host to Canisius (Nov. 16) in a non-bracketed game as part of the AdvoCare Invitational.
Florida State plays in one of the top pre-season tournaments – the AdvoCare Invitational (Nov. 22-25) – at the HP Field House at the Walt Disney Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Seminoles will face UAB in their first round game (Nov. 22, 9:30 p.m.) and either the College of Charleston or LSU in the second round. The opposite half of the bracket includes defending national champion Villanova, Canisius, Oklahoma State and Memphis.
Florida State closes out its non-conference schedule with five of its last seven games at home prior to the start of its ACC schedule. The Seminoles play host to Purdue in the 20th Annual ACC Big Ten Challenge (Nov. 28), Troy (Dec. 3), Southeast Missouri (Dec. 17), North Florida (Dec. 19) and Winthrop (Jan. 1). The Seminoles’ game against Winthrop marks their first New Year’s Day game since the 1957-58 season and only their third played on the first calendar day of the year in school history.
Season tickets for the 2018-19 season which includes the Seminoles’ season-opener against Florida, their ACC Big Ten Challenge game against Purdue (Nov. 28) and their nine-game ACC schedule are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by visiting seminoles.com or by calling the Florida State Ticket office at 1-888-378-6653.
The Seminoles’ ACC schedule will be released in early September.