CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Seminoles.com) — Florida State begins ACC Tournament play against Virginia Tech on Thursday at 2:30 in the 66th Annual New York Life ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Spectrum Center. The game will be televised on ESPN. By virtue of their fourth place finish in the league standings, the Seminoles earned a double-bye into the quarterfinal round of the event. As the No. 4 seed, Florida State will play Virginia Tech (the No. 5 seed). Regular-season co-champion Virginia will be the top-seeded team for the fourth time in six years and the fifth time overall. The Cavaliers also earned a double-bye into Thursday’s quarterfinal round, along with No. 2 seed and regular-season co-champion North Carolina (26-5, 16-2), No. 3 Duke (26-5, 14-4) and No. 4 Florida State (25-6, 13-5). Wednesday’s winners will advance to face the tournament’s four top-seeded teams in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. The 2019 New York Life ACC Tournament will culminate with a pair of semifinal games on Friday evening and the championship game on Saturday night. This year’s championship game is set for a primetime 8:30 p.m. start.
KABENGELE NAMED AS SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR IN ACC; KABENGELE AND MANN HONORED
Redshirt sophomore Mfiondu Kabengele was named the ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year while Kabengele and senior Terance Mann earned All-ACC Honorable Mention honors as the ACC announced its award winners for the 2019 season on Monday. Kabengele easily out-distanced the competition to earn the first ACC Sixth Man of Year Award by a Florida State player. He has come off the bench in all 31 games to lead the Seminoles in scoring (13.1 ppg) while pulling down 5.7 rebounds per contest. Mann, who ranks second on the Seminoles in scoring (11.5 ppg) and is the Seminoles’ leader in rebounds (6.4 rpg) earned All-ACC Honorable Mentions Honors for the second consecutive season.
SEMINOLES’ FORREST AND NICHOLS NAMED TO ALL-ACC ACADEMIC BASKETBALL TEAM
Florida State’s Trent Forrest and David Nichols have been named to the 2019 All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball Team as announced by the conference office on the eve of the Seminoles’ final conference game of the season at Wake Forest. Forrest (Chipley, Fla.) holds a 3.52 grade point average as he works towards his degree in Sport Management. He has been named to the All-ACC Academic Basketball team three times (2017, 2018, 2019) and has been named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll twice during his career (2017-18). Nichols (Chicago, Ill.) is playing his first season at Florida State as a graduate transfer. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Albany in Communications with a minor in Business. While at Albany, Nichols was one of 11 student-athletes to earn a Presidential Scholar-Athlete Award for the 2017-18 academic year as presented by the America East Conference. He was honored as the America East Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a sophomore in 2017 and named to the America East All-Academic Team in 2017.
SEMINOLES FINISH FOURTH IN ACC STANDINGS
With its 73-64 overtime victory over Virginia Tech on March 5 in Tallahassee, Florida State secured a fourth place finish in the 2018-19 ACC standings. Florida State was chosen to finish in seventh place in the ACC standings at ACC Operation Basketball on October 24, 2018. It marks the second time in the three years the Seminoles have finished in the top four of the ACC standings after finishing in second place with a 12-6 record during the 2016-17 season. Under head coach Leonard Hamilton, the Seminoles finished in fourth place in 2009, in third place in 2011, in third place in 2012, second place in 2017 and now in fourth place in 2019.
FLORIDA STATE’S MILESTONE VICTORIES
Florida State enters the 2019 New York Life ACC Tournament with a program record 13 ACC wins as well as a regular season record 25 overall victories. Florida State defeated No. 15/16 Virginia Tech, 73-64, in overtime at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee on March 5 to clinch a fourth place finish in the ACC standings and the No. 4 seed in the ACC Tournament. The Seminoles enter the ACC Tournament as one of the nation’s hottest teams with 12 victories in their last 13 games since defeating Clemson on January 22. Florida State has lost only once since defeating the Tigers on January 22 – a span a 51 days — when the Seminoles tip-off in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Thursday.
FLORIDA STATE’S ACC RECORD
Florida State enters the 2019 New York Life ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament with a 13-5 ACC record. The Seminoles finished 13-5 after starting conference play with a 1-4 mark and three consecutive league losses, including a two-point loss at the buzzer to then No. 1 Duke (80-78) at home in the Donald L. Tucker Center. Florida State was in a tie for 11th place in the league standings following its 1-4 start to league play and earned their fourth place finish in the ACC standings and a coveted double-bye in next week’s ACC Tournament.
SEMINOLES IN THE NATIONAL POLLS
Florida State enters the 2019 New York Life ACC Tournament ranked No. 12 in this week’s Associated Press poll and No. 13 in the USA Today poll. The Seminoles were ranked in the first 10 polls of the regular and now 17 of the 18 AP polls of the 2018-19 season. The Seminoles were ranked in the AP poll for a school-record 17 consecutive weeks during the 1988-89 season. Florida State has been nationally ranked in the AP in each of the last three seasons – for 15 consecutive weeks during the 2016-17 season, for five weeks during the 2017-18 season and in 16 of the 17 regular season polls this season.
SEMINOLES WITH FOUR VICTORIES OVER NATIONALLY RANKED TEAMS THIS SEASON
With four wins over nationally ranked teams this season, Florida State has defeated at least four nationally ranked teams in each of the last three seasons. The Seminoles defeated seven nationally ranked teams in 2017 and six more in 2018 for a total of 17 wins over nationally ranked teams since topping No. 21 Florida, 83-78, on December 11, 2016.
SEMINOLES AND HAMILTON AGAINST RANKED TEAMS
With its victory over No. 15/16 Virginia Tech on March 5 in Tallahassee, Florida State has defeated 48 ranked teams during the 17-year tenure of Leonard Hamilton at Florida State. The Seminoles have defeated four nationally ranked teams this season with victories over No. 13/14 LSU (November 23, 79-76) in the semifinals of the AdvoCare Invitational, over No. 14/15 Purdue (November 28, 73-72) in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge, over No. 16/17 Louisville (February 9, 80-75 in overtime) and No. 15/16 Virginia Tech (March 5, 73-64).
FLORIDA STATE WITH FOUR VICTORIES OVER AP TOP 25 TEAMS
Florida State is 3-3 against teams currently in the top 25 of the Week 19 Associated Press Poll. The Seminoles have wins over No. 9 LSU (November 23, 79-76 in overtime), over No. 13 Purdue (November 28, 73-72 in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge), No. 16 Louisville (February 9, 80-75 in overtime) and No. 16 Virginia Tech (March 5, 73-64 in overtime) in Tallahassee.
FLORIDA STATE HAS LOST ONLY ONCE SINCE JANUARY 22
Florida State has lost only once (February 23 at North Carolina) since defeating Clemson in Tallahassee on January 22. Only Florida State (12-1), Virginia (12-1) and North Carolina (11-1) have one loss or fewer in ACC play since January 22.
FLORIDA STATE ENTERS THE ACC TOURNAMENT WITH ONLY SIX LOSSES
Florida State enters the 2019 New York Life ACC Tournament with a 25-6 record. It marks the first tie the Seminoles suffered six or fewer losses in the regular season since the 1988-89 season when they entered the Metro Conference Tournament with a 21-6 record. Florida State’s record for fewest losses in a regular season is three during the 1954-55 and 1969-70 seasons. The Seminoles finished with a 23-3 record (no postseason play) in 1970.
NOTING FLORIDA STATE’S RECORD
Florida State has a 14-5 record (.737 winning percentage) since the beginning of the 2019 calendar year (an 87-76 win over Winthrop on January 1) and is 20-5 (.800 winning percentage) since defeating then No. 14/15 Purdue (November 28, 73-72) in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge) at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
HAMILTON RANKED AMONG ALL-TIME ACC WINNNIGEST COACHES
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton enters the 2019 New York Life ACC Tournament with 149 career ACC wins (regular season and ACC Tournament). His moved into a tie for sixth place in ACC history with Bobby Cremins who won 149 games at Georgia Tech as Florida State defeated Wake Forest in the regular season finale for both teams on March 9 in Winston-Salem. Hamilton is currently ranked seventh in ACC history with 330 overall victories. Hamilton enters the 2019 New York Life ACC Tournament with a 330-214 record at Florida State in 17 seasons – he is the winningest coach on Florida State history. He has a 530-424 record in 31 years as a collegiate head coach.