By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
August 24, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- In the winter of 1992, Florida State basketball was preparing to soar to heights not reached by the program since it was national runner up in the 1972 NCAA Tournament.
A year prior, the Seminoles surprised many with their seamless transition from the Metro Conference to the ACC, going toe-to-toe with Tobacco Road’s greatest programs and finishing second in the conference in the regular season.
With a strong returning nucleus led by guards Sam Cassell and Charlie Ward, and forward Bobby Sura, head coach Pat Kennedy’s squad was met with high expectations; a hurdle they easily surpassed.
The ‘Noles would fare decently against a highly difficult non-conference schedule that included the likes of Indiana, UCLA and Florida, but picked up right where they left off the season prior in conference play.
For the second straight season, the ‘Noles finished only behind the eventual National Champion (UNC in 92-93, Duke the season prior) in the regular season, boasting a 12-4 league record.
After a disappointing loss to Clemson in the first round of the ACC Tournament, the Tribe’s sights were set on the NCAA Tournament, in which they had earned a three seed in the Southeast Region.
The region-protected Seminoles cruised through the opening weekend of the tournament in Orlando, easily defeating the Purple Aces of Evansville (82-70) and the Tulane Green Wave (94-63) en route to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season.
The following week, Kennedy’s Seminoles played an overtime thriller against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, prevailing 81-78 to earn the program’s second ever Elite 8 appearance and its first since the ‘72 season.
The road to the Final Four ended at the hands of Kentucky in the next round, but the 1992-93 Seminoles legacy was secured as one of the gold standards of FSU basketball.
The preceding video is raw footage of where it all began for one of Florida State’s most legendary squads: Opening night at the Donald L. Tucker Center where the ‘Noles downed Siena College, 89-80 for their first win of the year.
Ward, still finishing out the football season, did not play (but can be seen rooting on the garnet and gold in this video). Sura and Cassell both delivered, with a combined 48 points (24 apiece) and combined to shoot 51.3 percent from the floor.