TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – The Florida State men’s basketball team, which advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and finished the 2019 season ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press Poll, will play in the Sixth Annual Emerald Coast Classic presented by Global Sports at The Arena on the campus of Northwest Florida State College in Niceville November 29-30, 2019.
The Seminoles are joined by Tennessee, Purdue and VCU – four teams who played in the 2019 NCAA Tournament – in the championship round of the tournament. Florida State advanced to the Sweet 16 with wins over Vermont and Murray State and were ranked No. 10 in the final AP poll. Tennessee also advanced to the Sweet 16 with wins over Colgate and Iowa before falling to Purdue in the Sweet 16 and were ranked No. 6 in the final AP Poll. The Boilermakers advanced to the Elite Eight with wins over Old Dominion, Villanova and Tennessee before losing in overtime to Virginia. Purdue was ranked No. 13 in the final AP Poll. VCU won the regular season championship of the Atlantic 10 before falling to UCF in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Florida State will play two home games at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee with those opponents and dates to be announced at a later date. The Seminoles’ two home game opponents will be drawn from Chattanooga, Jacksonville State, Alabama State and Chicago State.
“We jumped at the chance to play in the 2019 Emerald Coast Classic,” said Seminole Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. “Not only is it a great field of teams which gives us some phenomenal early season games but the tournament is in a part of our state where we haven’t played before. The opportunity to play great competition and bring our team to more of our fans is a winning combination for our program. We are excited about playing in the Emerald Coast Classic in one of the most beautiful areas in the state of Florida.”
Virginia (the tournament champions in 2016) and Virginia Tech (the third place team in 2015) from the ACC have fared well in the event in its first five years.
Niceville is located in the Crestview–Fort Walton Beach–Destin area of the state – an area which is a heavily populated with Seminole alumni fans. From Tallahassee to Pensacola in the Panhandle of the Sunshine State, there are more than 61,000 Florida State alumni that surround Destin. There are more than 18,000 Florida State alumni living in the area surrounding Destin. The Arena at NFSC is a 15-minute drive from the nearby Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport and a less-than-30-minute drive from the US-98 corridor in Destin along the Gulf Coast.
“This will be the best field we’ve ever assembled for the Emerald Coast Classic, and it shapes up as one of the strongest preseason college basketball tournaments next season,” said Maury Hanks, chief executive officer of Global Sports. “We continue to strive in bringing the best college basketball teams possible to the emerald coast of Florida.”
Emerald Coast Classic History
2018 — Cincinnati, champion; Ole Miss, runner-up
2017 — TCU, champion; St. Bonaventure, runner-up
2016 — Virginia, champion; Providence, runner-up
2015 — Iowa State, champion; Illinois, runner-up
2014 — Mississippi, champion; Cincinnati, runner-up