SEMINOLES TO PLAY IN SCHOOL RECORD 3RD STRAIGHT NCAA TOURNAMENT
Florida State earned a No. 10 seed in the Southwest Region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament and will play No. 7 seed Texas A&M in Chicago’s United Center on Friday, March 18 at 4:15 EST in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Aggies, out of the Big 12 Conference, finished its regular season with a 24-8 record and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament before it lost to Texas. The winner of the Florida State vs. Texas A&M game will face the winner of the Notre Dame vs. Akron game on Sunday also in Chicago. It marks the school record tying third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance for the Seminoles who have now been invited to play in the postseason for the sixth consecutive season and the seventh time in the nine year tenure of head coach Leonard Hamilton.
FLORIDA STATE RANKS AS THE NATION’S TOP DEFENSIVE TEAM
Florida State enters the 2011 NCAA Tournament as the top defensive team in the nation. Leonard Hamilton’s team enters its third consecutive NCAA Tournament ranked first nationally and first in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.364), ninth in blocked shots (5.7 bpg), 12th in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.301) and 13th in steals per game (8.8 spg). The Seminoles also rank in the top 50 nationally in rebound margin (32nd, +4.7) and scoring defense (38th, 62.3 ppg). Florida State is looking to lead the ACC in field goal percentage for the second consecutive season (.377 in 2009-10) and for the third time in Hamilton’s career (also in 1998 at Miami).
SINGLETON NAMED ACC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF YEAR BY ACC COACHES
Junior All-American candidate Chris Singleton was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in a vote of the league’s 12 coaching staffs. Singleton was the only unanimous selection – the only player to be selected by each of the 12 teams for the ACC All-Defensive team. Singleton was second in the balloting last season and became only the eighth unanimous selection to the team in the 16-year history of the team. Singleton earned the honor despite missing the final five games of the regular season with the vote coming after the star forward was injured on Feb. 12. The voting was conducted by noted ACC historian Barry Jacobs and is the only all ACC team chosen exclusively by the ACC coaches – those who prepare to play against the players they voted for on a daily basis for a better part of the season.
NOTING FLORIDA STATE AND HEAD COACH LEONARD HAMILTON
…Florida State is one of only two teams in the ACC (also Duke) this season that were in the top three of the conference standings for the ENTIRE season. After winning its first game in December, the Seminoles improved to 5-1 before losing for a second time in league play and have NEVER dropped below third place in the league standings.
…Picked to finish fifth in the league standings by the ACSMA in October, the Seminoles finished in third place in the league standings. It marks the third consecutive season the Seminoles finished in the top four in the league standings for the first time in school history.
LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…
…Defeat Texas A&M and win its first NCAA Tournament game since the 1998 season when it defeated Texas Christian, 96-87, in Oklahoma City. The Seminoles are looking to break a three-game losing streak in the NCAA Tournament;
…Defeat Texas A&M and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament since the 1998 season and for the seventh time in school history. The Seminoles are making their 13th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history;
…Defeat Texas A&M and wins its 22nd game of the season. It would mark the first time in school history the Seminoles would have won at least 22 games in three consecutive seasons.
FLORIDA STATE’S NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Florida State, which played in the 1972 NCAA Championship game, is making its 13th NCAA Tournament appearance (and its third consecutive) this season. The Seminoles are appearing in the Southwest Region of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. The Seminoles begin their NCAA Tournament trek in Chicago and would advance to San Antonio for the regional final round. The NCAA Final Four is in Houston.
HAMILTON MAKING HIS SIXTH NCAA TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE
Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton, the 2009 ACC Coach of the Year, is making his sixth NCAA Tournament appearance and has guided two different schools into the NCAA Tournament. He has a 6-5 record in five previous NCAA Tournament appearances while the head coach at the University of Miami and Florida State. Hamilton led the Hurricanes to the Sweet 16 of the 2000 NCAA Tournament with victories over Arkansas and Ohio State.
FLORIDA STATE IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Florida State has advanced to one NCAA Championship game (1972 against UCLA), one NCAA Final Four (1972), two NCAA Elite Eights (1972 and 1993) and three NCAA Sweet 16’s (1972, 1992 and 1993). Leonard Hamilton, the 20th all-time winningest coach in ACC history, is the second coach in school history to lead the Seminoles to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments and has guided Florida State to six consecutive post season tournaments (each year since the 2005-06 season).
FLORIDA STATE’S POSTSEASON HONORS
Junior All-American candidate Chris Singleton led Florida State’s parade of postseason awards as he was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s 12 coaching staffs and to the All-ACC Third Team and the ACC All-Defensive Team. He also earned All District Second Team honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches.