Three games into its 2019-2020 season, the Florida State men’s basketball team is already heading in the right direction, even after a tough road loss to Pitt to open the campaign.
The Seminoles’ 2-1 start, highlighted by a convincing win at Florida (then the AP’s No. 6 team in the country) has FSU on the rise. The best ranking system out there, KenPom, has the ’Noles 15th in the country, with the No. 41 offense and the No. 9 defense. Offensive continuity can take a bit longer to find than defensive coherence, so that’s not really a bad place to be at this stage. And remember, that’s out of 353 D-1 programs. The Gators, by comparison, are 29th, overall, per KenPom.
But of course, the AP voters who submit ballots are typically behind the advanced metrics. So even though UF dropped farther than any other previously ranked AP team (nine spots, from 6th to 15th), courtesy of its beatdown administered by Florida State, the Seminoles are still not among the AP’s top 25.
But they’re getting closer. In the AP’s preseason poll, FSU received 36 voting points, which put them 30th. Now, the ’Noles are up to 112 points— good enough for 27th.
FSU’s record should only improve through Thanksgiving, with Chattanooga, Saint Francis (PA), and Chicago State all slated to visit Tallahassee before Turkey Day. While upsets are more plausible on the hardwood than the gridiron, a 5-1 start should still be expected from Florida State.
The ’Noles have also seen a slight uptick in ESPN’s bracketology projections. They’re currently forecasted as a 7-seed, matching up with ACC-foe and 10-seed Notre Dame in Cleveland in the East. That’s a line above the 8-seed, where ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had FSU through most of the summer, but opening tourney play in the Tampa venue is still much more desirable than drawing the Irish just four hours east of South Bend.
Bracket Matrix, presently drawing on only 46 brackets (that number will reach triple digits as the season matures) also has the Seminoles as a 7-seed.