If the NCAA Tournament started today, FSU would almost be guaranteed a seed in the Big Dance. Sitting in third place of the ACC with a 19-7 record (9-3 ACC), it would be quite the snub for FSU to be left out of the field of 68. Resident Bracketologists Joe Lunardi of ESPN has FSU as a 9 seed, and Sports Illustrated’s Andy Glockner gives the Seminoles an 8 seed, which shows both feel Florida State is solidly placed right in the middle of the pack.
However, despite FSU’s success, the loss of All-American candidate Chris Singleton still hurts, and to the media, it affects seeding as well. Last weekend, the NCAA invited members of the media for a two-day mock tournament selection seminar, where various members of the media learned how the selection process is done, and make their own mock bracket.
The idea was to show how challenging it is to select the 37 At-Large bids, and the NCAA threw some wrenches in the plan, including having Virginia Tech win the ACC Tournament, thereby guaranteeing them a bid. The remainder of the regular season was not played out, so FSU stood at 18-7, yet to play a game without Singleton.
The loss of Singleton undoubtedly played a factor in the media minds, as they gave FSU one of the last four seeds (a play-in game for the Number 11 seed against Gonzaga). That is a big difference from the 8/9 seed that experts place FSU at right now.
How does FSU keep from being one of the last four selected? Winning, and winning handily. They started that over the weekend, defeating Wake Forest by 18. They have four games (two at home, two on the road), that starts Wednesday against Maryland.
The Seminoles are in a good spot right now, as they have a chance to finish out the season with 20 wins, 10 of those conference wins. They have one “bad” loss (Auburn), but other than that, they have played to the level of expectations.
4-0 and possibly 3-1 (UNC being the lone loss) would still put FSU in a solid position for a good seed. 2-2 or worse? FSU could be fighting for their bubble lives, especially without a good showing in the ACC Tournament.
The whole scenario is reminiscent of 2008-09, when St. Mary’s star Patrick Mills broke his hand during a game. The Gaels, who started 18-1 and were ranked as high as No. 22, would stumble following the loss of their best player, going 7-5 to end the regular season. Mills would come back, and while St. Mary’s did reach the West Coast Conference Finals, it was too little, too late, as they were the first team left off the bracket.
For FSU to keep from being the next St. Mary’s, they have to take the balanced attack from Wake Forest, and bring it to Maryland on Wednesday. The selection committee will be watching.