March 20, 2019 - by
Fifth-Seeded Noles Head to Charlotte

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The fifth-seeded Florida State Women’s Basketball team begins its 18th NCAA Tournament on Friday when it battles No. 12 seed Bucknell (28-5) at approximately 4:15 p.m. in the NCAA First Round on ESPN2 in Charlotte, N.C.

The NCAA First and Second Rounds will be hosted by No. 4 seed South Carolina at Halton Arena on the campus of UNC Charlotte. Columbia, S.C., is hosting the NCAA Men’s First and Second Rounds at Colonial Life Arena, allowing the Gamecocks Women’s Team to switch their host site.

ESPN2’s telecast will include play-by-play man Eric Frede and color analyst Christy Thomaskutty. Fans in the home markets of Florida State and Bucknell can watch the game on ESPN2 in its entirety, while the other areas can stream the game on the WatchESPN app.

FSU joins only Notre Dame and Louisville among the current ACC schools to play in the NCAA Tournament in 14 of the last 15 years (since 2005). The Seminoles (23-8) own a 15-game win streak in NCAA First Round games, a span that stretches back to 1991 when they defeated Appalachian State, 96-57, in Tallahassee (FSU was also a 5 seed playing a 12 seed).

FSU’s 15-game win streak is the second-longest active streak by ACC schools in first-round games, only trailing Duke’s 24-game streak.

Florida State begins the NCAA Tournament owning the 21st-ranked RPI nationally. FSU garnered three wins in the Top 19 this season (W, 71-67, vs. #7 Iowa; W, 75-70, vs. #9 NC State; W, 62-58, vs. #19 Miami) and played the 34th strongest schedule in the nation’s top-rated conference.

This will be Florida State’s fourth time playing as a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, also doing so in 1983, 1991 and 2016. FSU’s last time as a No. 5 seed in 2016, which was also the last time it did not host, included a pair of wins over No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee State (72-55) and No. 4 Texas A&M (74-56) to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16.

Florida State and Bucknell will meet for the first time in series history on Friday in Charlotte. The Bison are ninth in the country in 3-point shooting percentage, making long-distance shots at a 37.8 clip. Senior forward Kaitlyn Slagus leads the Bison averaging 13.0 points per game along with 7.3 rebounds while shooting 58.7 percent (158-of-269) from the floor.

Bucknell earned an automatic bid by winning the Patriot League championship, defeating American, 66-54, behind Slagus’ 23 points. Senior guard Kyi English added 14 points and six assists in the title win.

The Seminoles are playing just their third game against a Patriot League opponent, and their first since edging Colgate, 64-63, in Tallahassee on Dec. 31, 2004. FSU also played Army on Jan. 2, 1983, winning 69-60 at the Dial Classic in Miami, Fla.

Florida State is second in the ACC in scoring defense, allowing just 60.6 points per game. It also leads the conference in rebounding defense, allowing just 33.5 boards per game, and owns the second-best turnover margin (+3.1) in the conference.

Should FSU win its first-round game, it will face the winner of No. 4 seed South Carolina and 13th-seeded Belmont on Sunday at a time to be determined. South Carolina and Belmont tip off at 1:50 p.m. on Friday.

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