March 15, 2021 - by
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL EARNS EIGHTH STRAIGHT NCAA APPEARANCE

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State Women’s Basketball received an at-large bid on Monday night to its eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament during ESPN’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Show.

The Seminoles are designated as the No. 9 seed in the Hemisfair Region, where they will await No. 8-seeded Oregon State on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The game will be played at the University Events Center at Texas State in San Marcos, Texas.

The NCAA recently announced championship game times and broadcast networks for all six rounds and 63 games of the 2021 Division I Women’s Basketball Championship being held in the San Antonio region. In addition to ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU coverage, for the first time since the 1995 championship was carried on CBS, portions of the tournament will be carried by a broadcast network, as ABC is scheduled to carry at least six tournament games.

“It’s a huge honor to be in this position and making the tournament this year,” FSU Interim Head Coach Brooke Wyckoff said. “I’m excited for our team and what they’ve accomplished in getting us to this point. We’ve got the 9 seed which is around where we thought we’d be.

“We’re familiar with Oregon State – it’s the second time we’ve played them in the last few years and the third time we’ve been close to playing them. They’re a really good basketball team and we’ll have our work cut out for us, but we’re super excited about the opportunity to go see what happens.”

Despite enduring a pandemic-related season that also included 15 schedule changes and being the only school in the nation to play an all-Power 5 schedule, the Seminoles have kept their very meaningful NCAA post-season streak alive. Florida State is one of only 10 schools to make eight or more consecutive NCAA appearances, joining Baylor, Louisville, Maryland, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas A&M and UConn.

Having lost 65 percent of its scoring from last season, Wyckoff was tasked with getting returning players to not only step up in their new roles, but to weather the storm of any growing pains with several players in new positions. The result included earning a Top-4 seed at the ACC Tournament despite being predicted eighth in the ACC preseason coaches’ poll.

Since the ACC expanded to its current group of teams in 2014, this year’s Seminoles are the only conference program to be predicted as low as eighth by the ACC coaches and earn a Top-4 seed.

Wyckoff also becomes the first Florida State Women’s Basketball Head Coach to take FSU to an NCAA Tournament in her first year as the head coach. Wyckoff joins Drexel’s Amy Mallon as first-time head coaches taking their teams to the NCAA Tournament this season.

Florida State’s bid this year is especially gratifying because of last year’s cancellation of the NCAA Tournament due to COVID-19.

“Missing last year was a huge bummer,” FSU sophomore Sammie Puisis said. “This year with everything going on including COVID, it’s awesome that we’re able to be in this tournament. We have a great seed. This is what Florida State always does – we’re always in a great position. The last eight times we’ve been in it. This is what Florida State does and we’re ready to get started.”

The Seminoles finished 10-8 overall and 9-7 in the ACC, garnering a fourth-place finish in the conference regular season. Florida State was rated in the Top 50 of the NET rankings for most of the season, owning five Top-50 victories in which its average margin of victory in those games was an impressive +10.4 points.

Overall, the Seminoles will be making their 15th NCAA Tournament in their last 16 countable appearances (does not include 2020’s wiped-out tournament). Only Louisville and Notre Dame can match that consistency among current ACC schools over the last 16 years.

The Seminoles depart for San Antonio on Wednesday and will adhere to all NCAA protocols as they prepare for Sunday’s first-round matchup. The winner between the Seminoles and Beavers (11-7) will face the winner of No. 1 seed South Carolina (22-4) and 16 seed Mercer (19-6) in the second round.

Related Articles