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Florida State vs. VCU / NCAA Sweet 16 Preview

By: FSU Sports Communications
By: FSU Sports Communications

FLORIDA STATE ADVANCES TO NCAA TOURNAMENT SWEET 16

Florida State, which defeated both No. 21/24 Texas A&M and No. 5/5 Notre Dame last weekend in the second and third rounds of the NCAA Tournament, has advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in school history and will play Virginia Commonwealth on Friday March 25, 2011 at 9:57 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. It marks the first time the Seminoles have advanced at least as far as the Sweet 16 since the 1992-93 season (18 years) when they advanced to the Elite Eight before falling to top seed Kentucky only one win from the second Final Four appearance in school history. The Seminoles played UCLA for the National Championship in 1972 – falling to the Bruins and John Wooden, 81-76, in Los Angeles. Florida State is playing in its school record third consecutive NCAA Tournament – a first since the 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons. Florida State’s victory over No. 2 seeded Notre Dame marked the highest seeded team the Seminoles have ever defeated in the NCAA Tournament and second time in school history that it has defeated a higher ranked team. The Seminoles defeated No. 5 seeded Texas Christian during the 1998 season. With a victory over Virginia Commonwealth on Friday night, the Seminoles will advance to play the winner of Friday’s game between Kansas and Richmond. That game will be played on Sunday also in the Alamodome in San Antonio.

FLORIDA STATE RANKS AS THE NATION’S TOP DEFENSIVE TEAM

Florida State enters its game against Virginia Commonwealth in the fourth round of 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 (.360), ninth in blocked shots (6.0 bpg),10th in the nation in 3-point field goal defense (.301) and 24th in steals per game (8.5 spg). The Seminoles also rank in the top 50 nationally in rebound margin (34th, +4.5) and scoring defense (27th, 61.7 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 the University of Miami).

FLORIDA STATE IS THE NATIONAL LEADER IN FIELD GOAL PCT. DEFENSE

Florida State enters its game against Virginia Commonwealth as the national leader in field goal percentage defense with a .360 mark. The Seminoles are looking to become the first team since Georgetown during the 1990 and 1991 seasons to lead the nation in back-to-back seasons in the field goal percentage defense category. Florida State led the NCAA with a .377 field goal percentage defense mark during the 2009-10 season.

LOOK FOR FLORIDA STATE TO…

…Defeat Virginia Commonwealth and advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history. The Seminoles played in the Elite Eight in 1972 (and advanced to the national championship game) and in 1993 (in falling one win from getting to their second Final Four in school history);

…Defeat Virginia Commonwealth and earn its third victory of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Seminoles won a school record four games in the 1972 NCAA Tournament and earned three victories in the 1993 NCAA Tournament;

…Defeat Virginia Commonwealth and earn its 24th victory of the season. The school record for wins in a single season is 27 by the Seminoles’ 1972 national runner-up team;

…Defeat Virginia Commonwealth and earn the right to play on March 27 against the winner of Friday’s game between Kansas and Richmond. It would tie the school record for latest date in a season that the Seminoles have ever played a game.

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 began their NCAA Tournament trek in Chicago, have advanced to San Antonio for the regional final round and are looking to move onto 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 5-5 record in six NCAA Tournament appearances while the head coach at the University of Miami and Florida State. Hamilton led Miami to the Sweet 16 of the 2000 NCAA Tournament with wins over Arkansas and Ohio St.

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, 1993 and 2011). Leonard Hamilton, the 19th 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 ACC All-Defensive Team. He also earned All District Second Team honors from the NABC.

ENTERING FRIDAY’S GAME AGAINST VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH…

…Florida State has 11 of their 23 wins away from home. The Seminole have won eight true road games and three games played at neutral sites;

…Florida State has won two straight games, three of its last four and eight of its last 12 games since the beginning of the month of February and is 3-2 in the month of March with wins over two ranked teams (No. 20 Texas A&M and No. 5 Notre Dame).

NOTING FLORIDA STATE’S WINS OVER TEXAS A&M AND NOTRE DAME

Florida State defeated No. 20 Texas and No. 5 Notre Dame in the second and third rounds of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament to defeat ranked teams in consecutive games for the third time during Leonard Hamilton’s tenure.

HAMILTON IS A GIANT KILLER

In guiding Florida State to its 66-61 victory over No. 1 ranked Duke on Jan.12 in Tallahassee, Seminole head coach Leonard Hamilton continued to put himself in some very select company as one of the nation’s top coaches. He is currently tied for the national lead among coaches with the most victories over the No. 1 ranked team in the nation since the start of the 2003-04 season. Hamilton has guided Florida State to wins over No. 1 ranked Duke twice (Jan. 12, 2011 and March 1, 2006, as well as No. 1 North Carolina on March 14, 2009, in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament).


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