March 19, 2003
The Florida State women’s basketball team (16-12) will host Florida International (19-10) in the first round of the 2003 WNIT on Thursday, March 20th at 7 p.m. at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center. The Seminoles have a 5-2 series advantage over the Golden Panthers, but the two clubs have not met since the 1999-2000 season.
FSU IN POSTSEASON PLAY
While the Seminoles will be competing in their second postseason tournament in the last three years, the program’s progress can be looked at in an even greater light. Prior to FSU’s participation in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, FSU hadn’t played in a postseason tournament since 1990-91 – a 10-year absence. So, this season will actually be FSU’s second postseason appearance in the last 13 years! In all, heading into this season, FSU had played in four NCAA Tournaments and one NIT.
FSU IN THE NIT
This season will mark the second time that FSU has participated in the women’s NIT. Back in the 1982 season, the Seminoles finished as the runner-up in the National Women’s Invitational Tournament – the program’s first national tournament appearance. FSU defeated Pepperdine, 76-63, and BYU, 75-71, before falling 76-60 to champion Oregon. Back then, the tournament was called the NWIT and included just eight teams. The NWIT later went to 16 teams. The 1996 season was the last NWIT tournament and there was no tournament in 1997. In 1998, the tournament was brought back under the new name WNIT and in 1999, the field expanded to its current 32 teams.
FSU VS. TEAMS IN THE POSTSEASON
Interestingly, FSU has not faced any of the other 31 teams in the 2003 WNIT this season. However, FSU has faced seven of the 64 NCAA Tournament teams and has a 4-8 record against them.
ALL-TIME WOMEN'S NIT CHAMPIONS, SCORES 1969 Wayland Baptist def. Ouachita Baptist, 54-34 1970 Wayland Baptist def. Midwestern State, 50-46 1971 Wayland Baptist def. Parsons, 63-44 1972 Wayland Baptist def. John F. Kennedy, 48-41 1973 Wayland Baptist def. John F. Kennedy, 52-49 1974 Wayland Baptist def. John F. Kennedy, 59-52 1975 Wayland Baptist def. UCLA, 79-41 1976 Wayland Baptist def. UCLA, 90-77 1977 Wayland Baptist def. UCLA, 79-75 1978 Old Dominion def. Texas, 70-60 1979 South Carolina def. Drake, 74-71 1980 Oregon State def. North Carolina, 71-62 1981 Georgia def. Arizona State, 75-73 1982 Oregon State def. Florida State, 76-60 1983 New Orleans def. Memphis State, 68-58 1984 Vanderbilt def. Tennessee-Chattanooga, 67-66 1985 LSU def. Florida, 74-54 1986 Idaho def. Northwestern State, 100-91 1987 Arkansas def. California, 112-80 1988 DePaul def. Purdue, 83-55 1989 Oregon def. San Diego State, 67-64 1990 Kentucky def. Toledo, 85-76 1991 Santa Clara def. Indiana, 71-68 1992 Georgia Tech def. Hawaii, 90-72 1993 Arkansas State def. SMU, 67-54 1994 Oklahoma def. Arkansas State, 69-65 1995 Texas A&M def. Northwestern State, 85-81 1996 Arizona def. Northwestern, 79-63 1997 NO TOURNAMENT 1998 Penn State def. Baylor, 59-56 1999 Arkansas def. Wisconsin, 67-64 2000 Wisconsin def. Florida, 75-74 2001 Ohio State def. New Mexico, 62-61 2002 Oregon def. Houston, 54-52
While FSU participated in the postseason just two years ago with an NCAA Tournament appearance, Katelyn Vujas is the only current member of the team to have played that year. Tasheika Morris was sitting out due to transfer NCAA regulations, while Lauren Bradley medically redshirted that season. And speaking of Vujas, she is the first Seminole in 12 seasons to have two postseason appearances to her credit.
The Seminoles spent their spring break last week in Tallahassee, continuing practice for the post season. But FSU has had a break. The Tribe hasn’t played a game since March 8th – a 12-day rest. For the Golden Panthers, who are on spring break this week, they haven’t played a game since March 9th.
IT’S LATE BUT NOT THE LATEST
FSU’s game vs. FIU on March 20th will mark the second latest date the Seminoles have played in a season. Back in 1982, FSU’s last NIT appearance, FSU fell to Oregon in the championship game on March 27th. It will, however, mark the latest time for a home game. The last time FSU played a home game in the month of March was in the 1990-91 season when the Tribe hosted first and second round NCAA Tournament games.
Florida State’s 16 wins this season marks just the third time since joining the ACC in 1991-92 that the Seminoles have earned 16 or more victories. In fact, since records were kept in 1973-74, FSU has had 16 or more wins just 10 times – two of which have been in the last three years. FSU has eclipsed the 20-win mark four times with its most wins being 28 back in the 1981-82 season.
FSU’s 8-8 ACC record this year was the same league record the Seminoles had in 1991-92, its first season in the league. That year however, the Tribe was the No. 5 seed. FSU has finished .500 or better in the ACC three times now, including twice in the last three years. FSU has finished a program-best fourth in the ACC twice in the past three years.
Thursday’s game will mark the eighth meeting between Florida State and Florida International. The Seminoles have a 5-2 advantage in the series which dates back to the 1975-76 season. The last meeting between FSU and FIU was back on December 30, 1999. The Seminoles were 76-55 victors and were crowned the FIU Sun & Fun Classic champions.