FSU basketball will be taking part in the NCAA Tournament for the 15th time in program history – a history that includes some memorable moments.
After a five year hiatus, the FSU basketball program will actually be able to take part in the insanity that is March Madness and be back in the NCAA Tournament. 14 times before, the Seminoles have joined the fun while making it to the Sweet 16 four times before, the Elite Eight three times and playing for the national championship just 45 years ago.
In those previous 14 appearances, the program has made some memories for the fans in Garnet and Gold. From upset wins to deep tournament runs and a magical season that almost ended with a title, FSU basketball has had moments that won’t be forgotten any time soon.
Here’s a look the top five NCAA Tournament wins for the Seminoles – as they look to add some more memories to the program’s history this season.
No. 5 – 1992 Second Round vs. No. 6 Georgetown (W 78-68)
In the tournament for the fourth time over a five year span, the No. 3 seeded Seminoles came into this matchup with the tradition rich Hoyas, led by future basketball Hall of Famers Alonzo Mourning and head coach John Thompson. It was’t a pretty win, but the Seminoles got it done with four players in double figures – including 19 from future NBA champ Sam Cassell and a double-double from Doug Edwards.
FSU basketball would end up getting knocked out in the following round, dropping a Sweet 16 decision to No. 2 seeded Indiana – their furthest run in the tournament in 20 years.
No. 4 – 1998 First Round vs. No, 5 TCU (W 96-87)
Just like this season, the Seminoles had gone five seasons without playing in the NCAA Tournament when they limped in as the No. 12 seed, losers of eight of their previous 11 games heading into the tournament.
None of that mattered for the ‘Noles in their tournament opener as they had five players score in double figures – including 20 points each from Randall Jackson and Corey Louis, as the latter added 13 rebounds in the win. FSU basketball’s run would be a short one, losing to Valparaiso in the second round.
Florida State Seminoles Basketball
No. 3 – 1993 Sweet 16 vs. No. 7 Western Kentucky (W 81-78 in Overtime)
After getting the No. 3 seed for the second straight year, the Seminoles made light work of their first two opponents in Orlando and getting back to the Sweet 16, where they took on a Hilltoppers team that was feisty and looking for the upset.
40 minutes wouldn’t be enough between these teams, as the ‘Noles were able to do just enough in the extra frame to escape with the three point victory. Four players scored in double figures – including 19 by Doug Edwards and a double double from Rodney Dobard. It would be the last win of the season, as Florida State lost by 25 in the Elite Eight to Kentucky.
No. 2 – 2011 Third Round vs. No. 2 Notre Dame (W 71-57)
The Seminoles came into this tournament as the No. 10 seed, sent to play in Chicago for the opening rounds – just about an hour and a half away from the South Bend campus of their second opponent. This was a Fighting Irish team that had a legit shot of actually getting to the Final Four and possibly play for the national title.
The underdog ‘Noles were in control for much of the game, leading by 23 points in the second half – thanks to a double double from Bernard James – and Florida State advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time in almost two decades, where they would lose a heartbreaking, one point overtime game to VCU.
No. 1 – 1972 Final Four vs. North Carolina (W 79-75)
For just the second time ever, the Seminoles were in the NCAA Tournament and made the most of their time as a team who wasn’t supposed to do much. Upset wins over both Minnesota and Kentucky send FSU basketball to Los Angeles for their first – and still only – appearance in the Final Four.
Against their future ACC foes, Florida State led by more than 20 points in the second half against the Tar Heels – building up enough of a lead that a late run by UNC wasn’t enough. The ‘Noles would advance to their only title game appearance – and in a moral victory, held UCLA to their smallest margin of victory over their dynasty span of 10 titles in 12 seasons.