March 6, 2019 - by

Sixth-Seeded Noles Begin ACC Tourney


GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – The sixth-seeded Florida State Seminoles (22-7, 10-6) begin their 27th ACC Tournament on Thursday in the second round against 14th-seeded Pitt (11-19, 2-14) or 11th-seeded Duke (14-14, 6-10) at the Greensboro Coliseum. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. on FOX Sports Florida (North and Central Florida) and FOX Sports Sun (South Florida).

The game will air on several of the ACC’s regional sports networks. Tom Werme and Debbie Antonelli will be on the call.

FSU was predicted eighth by the league’s coaches and seventh by the Blue Ribbon Panel in the pre-season order of finish, marking the fourth time in the last five years the Seminoles have finished higher or at the same spot where they were predicted.

Florida State enters the ACC Tournament ranked 22nd in the AP Poll, 23rd in the RPI and is a six seed in the latest ESPNW Bracketology. Entering the season, the Seminoles had the eighth-youngest team in the nation with an average age of 19.4 years old, and have played with just eight healthy bodies in the last nine games (starting guard Amaya Brown suffered a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 27 in a 56-54 win at Virginia Tech).

Redshirt junior forward Kiah Gillespie has led FSU all season. The Meriden, Conn., native and 2015 McDonald’s All-American is the 13th different Seminole to be named to the All-ACC First Team, and she is the third Seminole to receive first-team honors in her first year of eligibility (joins Roneeka Hodges in 2005 and Adut Bulgak in 2015).

Valencia Myers is the 11th Seminole to be named to the ACC All-Freshmen Team, and the first since Shakayla Thomas in 2015. One of those 11 FSU freshmen is current associate head coach Brooke Wyckoff, who made the ACC All-Freshman Team in 1998 when she averaged 3.0 blocks per game.

Florida State recorded its 10th ACC win to cap the regular season on Sunday at Georgia Tech (W, 64-55). FSU joins Louisville, Notre Dame and Syracuse as the only conference schools to win 10+ games in each of the last five seasons (since 2014-15).

If Florida State’s season ended today, it would go down as the best free-throw shooting team in program history at 73.5 percent (364-of-495). Yet that percentage ranks sixth overall in the ACC.

Comparing this year’s regular season to last year’s, FSU’s current scoring defense of 61.0 points allowed is lower than the 63.0 allowed last season with a veteran group. This year’s number is a full two points lower despite allowing 94 to Syracuse last week.

Florida State’s 22 regular-season wins are tied for the ninth-most regular-season victories in program history. The school record is 27 regular-season wins by the 2014-15 team, which also won 32 games that season.

The winner of Thursday night’s game between FSU and either Pitt or Duke will face third-seeded NC State on Friday at 8 p.m. in the ACC quarterfinals.

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