The Florida State men's basketball team, which advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and finished the season ranked No. 19 nationally in 2011, will face one of the nation's most challenging schedules, as it plays at least eight and possibly 10 games against teams that played in the NCAA Tournament and at least five and possibly seven games against teams that played in the NIT, as 10th-year head coach Leonard Hamilton released the Seminoles' 2011-12 schedule.
Florida State will play North Carolina (NCAA Elite 8), Duke (NCAA Sweet 16), Clemson (NCAA Second Round), Michigan State (NCAA Second Round), Florida (NCAA Elite 8) and Princeton (NCAA Second Round) and could meet Connecticut (NCAA Champion) and UNC-Asheville (NCAA Second Round) in the Battle4Atlantis Tournament – a total of 10 games against eight teams that played in the 2011 NCAA Tournament during the upcoming season. The Seminoles will play five games against three teams that played in the NIT (Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech), could play two more NIT team (Harvard and the College of Charleston in the Battle4Atlantis) and will play two more tournament teams in Jacksonville (collegeinsider.com) and UCF (College Basketball Invitational semifinals) in the non-conference portion of the schedule.
"We think this is a schedule that will more than help us prepare for conference play in January," said Hamilton. "We have got some tough games on the road with the Battle4Atlantis Tournament, a tournament that includes defending national champion Connecticut as well as playing at Michigan State and at Florida. We play host to Princeton and then we begin to think about our conference schedule, which is as tough as any conference in the country night in and night out."
In addition to playing North Carolina and Duke from the ACC, Florida State's game at perennial power Michigan State in the 13th Annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge gives it the opportunity to play in one of the toughest atmospheres in all of college basketball. The Spartans, who have played in six of the last 13 NCAA Final Fours, have played in 14 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. The Seminoles will play at Florida, which has won at least 20 games in 12 consecutive seasons. Its potential matchup against Connecticut would come against a Husky team that won the Big East and National championships by winning its final 11 games of the 2011 season.
The Seminoles will play 11 teams that were in the top 100 of last season's national RPI rankings, including the Blue Devils (No. 4), Tar Heels (No. 6), Gators (No. 8), Princeton (No. 40) and Michigan State (No. 45). Connecticut (No. 14) and Harvard (No. 35) are potential opponents for the Seminoles in the Battle4Atlantis.
Florida State will play 17 regular season home games, beginning with its regular season opener against Jacksonville. The Seminoles will play host to UCF in the first meeting between the two teams since 1988, Stetson and South Alabama before travelling to play in the most dynamic new tournament in college basketball: the Battle4Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The tournament includes Charleston, Connecticut, Harvard, Massachusetts, UCF, UNC-Asheville, Utah and the Seminoles.
Following the game at Michigan State, the Seminoles close out the non-conference portion of their schedule with home games against Charleston Southern, UNC-Greensboro, Loyola Marymount, Princeton and Auburn and their annual game against in-state rival Florida. The Seminoles' game against Loyola Marymount marks the first time a team from the state of California comes to Tallahassee since 1965, while Princeton's arrival at the Donald L. Tucker Center marks the first time an Ivy League team will play in Tallahassee. Florida State is scheduled to play host to Auburn in its final non-ACC game of the regular season.
Florida State will open its ACC schedule as it travels to play at Clemson and at Virginia Tech before returning home to play host to North Carolina on Jan. 14, 2012, with ESPN College GameDay on hand for the first time ever in Tallahassee. Its game against Clemson begins a stretch of 16 ACC games (eight home and eight on the road) with home and away series against Clemson, Duke (Jan. 21 at Durham and Feb. 22 in Tallahassee), Miami, Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Seminoles will also play host to Maryland and Georgia Tech.
Florida State will be one of the most televised teams in the nation, with a school record 17 of its 30 regular season games on national television. A total of 14 of its games will be televised nationally on the ESPN Family of networks, including three on ESPN, two on ESPN2, three more on either ESPN or ESPN2 and five on ESPNU, and each of the Seminoles' three games in the Battle4Atlantis will be nationally televised. For only the second time in school history, each of Florida State's 16 conference games will be televised. The Seminoles will earn additional television exposure when the remaining non-conference games are selected for television.
Florida State returns three starters, including pre-season All-American candidate Bernard James, who averaged 10.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in three NCAA Tournament games in 2011. Also returning as starters are guard Michael Snaer and forward Okaro White, who helped lead the Seminoles to a 23-11 record and a third-place finish in the ACC. Florida State lost only two seniors from last year's squad, including Chris Singleton, who was the first-round pick of the Washington Wizards in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Season tickets are currently on sale and can be obtained by visiting seminoles.com or by calling the Seminole Ticket Office at 1-888-FSUNOLE. Season tickets start at $242 for reserved upper level and $272 for lower level. Fans can reserve their seats for the upcoming season by placing a 10-percent down payment. They can also take advantage of the brand new payment plan and spread payments out over a four-month period. Another great incentive to renew now is the summer reward program. Fans that renew or buy season tickets will be entered into our summer long sweepstakes to win official Men's Basketball gear, electronics and more.
To see the entire 2011-12 Florida State men's basketball schedule, Click Here.
Basketball schedule put out Wednesday
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