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The FSU basketball fan’s daily postseason rooting guide

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The college hoops landscape, through garnet-tinted glasses.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-UCLA vs Cincinnati Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

With the regular season in the books, it’s time for another revamping of the Florida State hoops rooting guide, since we were all kind of sick of scrolling down through the lengthy old one anyway.

We’ll continue to call games featuring teams within three seed-lines of the Seminoles on Bracket Matrix, since squads can still make runs in their respective conference tournaments — or early exits therefrom — to alter their positions in the big dance. And since the NCAA Tournament selection committee is using NET Rankings, that’s the source we’ll keep employing as well.

Here we go!


Selection Sunday is upon us at last! But the beauty of the big dance is that positioning is still not necessarily decided. To wit:

-Sunday, March 17-

No. 18 Auburn vs. No. 6 Tennessee (1 pm, ESPN, SEC Tournament Championship):

These teams are about equidistant from No. 15 FSU’s current position as the final 3-seed, on either side. But the Tigers could get a boost with a conference title. Vols! FINAL: 84-64, Auburn

No. 25 Cincinnati vs. No. 4 Houston (3:15 pm, ESPN, AAC Tournament Championship):

The Cougars are currently the top 3-seed, while the Seminoles are the last. And since the Bearcats aren’t catching Florida State from the 7-line, cheer for the more northern felines. FINAL: 69-57, Cincinnati

No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 9 Michigan (3:30 pm, CBS, Big Ten Tournament Championship):

The meat-chicken (sound it out) squads are the bottom 2-seeds in the latest Bracket Matrix update. Jumping either is unlikely for No. 15 FSU, but vaulting the Wolverines is slightly more likely, and rooting against them is just the right thing to do. So be a decent person, and pull for MSU, meow. FINAL: 65-60, Michigan State


-Saturday, March 16-

Selection Sunday is only 24 hours away and I’m ready for complete chaos.

No. 17 Wisconsin vs. No. 8 Michigan State (1 PM, CBS, Big Ten Tournament Semifinals)

Florida State is currently a fellow 4-seed with Wisconsin, but following the Seminoles’ victory over Virginia on Friday evening, Florida State will look to move up one line. Let’s not make that any harder. Sparty on! FINAL: 67-55, Michigan State

No. 31 Florida vs. No. 18 Auburn (1 PM, ESPN, SEC Tournament Semifinals)

The Gators’ NCAA tourney hopes are still alive after topping the LSU Tigers on Friday, but 11-seeded Florida won’t be able to catch up to the ’Noles. The Auburn Tigers are currently the last 5-seed and ranked three teams behind Florida State in NCAA Net Rankings. Root for UF to make it to the finals by pulling off back-to-back Tiger beat downs and boosting the quality of Florida State’s dominant early season win over the Gators. FINAL: 65-62, Auburn

No. 46 Memphis vs. No. 4 Houston (3 PM, ESPN 2, AAC Tournament Semifinals)

Memphis is making a late-run at the NCAA tournament, but likely still resides on the outside. The Cougars are currently the second 3-seed and a loss to the Tigers could possibly pave the way for the ’Noles to earn a No. 3 seed come Sunday. You know what to do. FINAL: 61-58, Houston

No. 6 Tennessee vs. No. 5 Kentucky (3 PM, ESPN, SEC Tournament Semifinals)

As Sandra Bullock once wisely said, “I will NOT wear that gaudy orange, I will not.” We should take her advice. The monstrous SEC semifinal matchup between Tennessee and Kentucky likely won’t have any direct effect on the Seminoles’ seeding, but the Vols’ are closer to Florida State, so a Wildcat win wouldn’t hurt. FINAL: 82-78, Tennessee

No. 9 Michigan vs. No. 57 Minnesota (3:30 PM, CBS, Big Ten Tournament Semifinals)

The 10-seeded Golden Gophers aren’t really a threat, but after upsetting No. 12 Purdue on Friday, Minnesota takes on 2-seeded Michigan. Root for redemption as Minnesota lost to the Wolverines twice this season and isn’t trying to pick up its third. FINAL: 76-49, Michigan

No. 86 Wichita State vs No. 25 Cincinnati (5 PM, ESPN2, AAC Tournament Semifinals)

Cincinnati isn’t that close to Florida State, but let’s keep it that way with a Bearcat loss. Cheer for Wichita State to live up to its name by pulling of the upset. Go Shockers! FINAL: 66-63, Cincinnati

No. 19 Kansas vs. No. 22 Iowa State (6 PM, ESPN, Big 12 Tournament Championship)

The Jayhawks are the top 4-seed and one team ahead of Florida State. AKA, this one’s easy. Cheer for the Cyclones to clinch the Big 12 Championship dropping Kansas behind the ’Noles in the process. FINAL: 78-66, Iowa State

No. 58 Seton Hall vs. No. 26 Villanova (6:30 PM, FOX, Big East Tournament Championship)

We’re keeping this one even easier for ya and for the second time today, a Wildcat win is warranted. If 6-seeded Villanova wins the Big East Championship, the Seminoles six-point loss to Villanova in the Advocare Invitational earlier on this season will look better in the eyes of the selection committee. While the Wildcats aren’t too far behind the Seminoles, it’s unlikely Villanova will move up two seeds by defeating the Pirates. Go WIldcats! FINAL: 74-72, Villanova

No. 114 Bowling Green vs. No. 16 Buffalo (7:30, ESPN2, MAC Tournament Championship)

6-seeded Buffalo likely won’t catch Florida State in seeding, but the Bulls are ranked only one team behind the Seminoles in the latest NCAA Net Rankings. Cheer for the Falcons to upset Buffalo in the MAC Tournament title. FINAL: 87-73, Buffalo

And last, but certainly not least: No. 15 Florida State vs. No. 3 Duke (8:30 PM, ESPN, ACC Tournament Championship)

Did somebody say redemption? I’m not going to lie, the Seminole’s loss to the Blue Devils at home on Cam Reddish’s buzzer-beater ‘bout broke my heart earlier this season, but Florida State is well on its way to making things right. After dismantling Virginia on Friday evening in the ACC Semifinals- yes, the same Virginia team that demolished the ’Noles in a 13-point victory back in January- a determined Florida State team has surfaced quite capable of defeating Duke to win the tourney and split the series. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for Saturday’s late-night rematch and hoping it brings some more Kabengele GIFs in my life. Go Noles!

FINAL: 73-63, Duke


-Friday, March 15-

No. 89 UConn vs. No. 4 Houston (12 pm, ESPN2):

The Seminoles are making a push for a 3-seed on Selection Sunday and Houston is one of the teams standing in their way. It might seem greedy after taking their offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, but we want that 3-seed too. Let’s party like it’s 2014. Go Huskies! FINAL: 84-45, Houston

No. 55 Ohio State vs. No 8 Michigan State (12:30 pm, BTN):

Remember Aaron Craft? What’s going on with the Hunter Renfrow of college basketball nowadays? Oh yeah, the pick..the Spartans are projected to be a 2-seed and Ohio State doesn’t appear to have a shot in this one after losing by 18 to MSU last month. Impossible as it may be, Go Bucks! FINAL: 77-70, Michigan State

No. 32 Florida vs. No. 14 LSU (1:00 pm, ESPN):

The Tigers currently project as a 3-seed, taking up a spot FSU is gunning for. I refuse to go on record as saying, “go Gators,” but off the record? Go Gators. FINAL: 76-73, Florida

No. 49 Nebraska vs. No. 16 Wisconsin (3:00 pm, BTN):

Hope you like corn because for a second day in a row we’re calling on the Huskers to do our bidding. Wisconsin is projected as the last 4-seed, but currently ranked three spots higher than FSU in the Net. Go Big Red! FINAL: 66-62, Wisconsin

No. 17 Auburn vs. No. 81 South Carolina (3:30 pm, ESPN):

Projected as a 6-seed, but higher in the Net Rankings than the ’Noles, it shouldn’t be hard for FSU fans to root against Auburn. Plus, Darude-Sandstorm gets the people going, Go ’Cocks! FINAL: 73-64, Auburn

No. 116 Central Michigan vs. No. 15 Buffalo (6:30 pm CBSSN):

Buffalo is heavily favored and for good reason. They’ve dropped just three games all year, blowing out CMU in the process. But, if you’re looking for a reason to be invested in some MACtion, Fire Up, Chips! FINAL: 85-81, Buffalo

No. 70 Xavier vs. No.25 Villanova (6:30 pm, FS1):

After FSU lost to Villanova in the Advocare Invitational early this season it would be easy to root against the Wildcats. Howber, ff Villanova goes on to win the Big East Tournament it can only serve to make FSU’s six-point loss on a neutral court look better. Go Wildcats! FINAL: 71-67, Villanova

No. 57 Minnesota vs. No. 12 Purdue (7:00 pm, BTN)

Even with a win over the Boilermakers, FSU still finds themselves behind them in both the Net Rankings and Bracket Matrix. It’s an easy choice here, go Golden Gophers! FINAL: 75-73 Minnesota

No. 19 Florida State vs. No. 1 Virginia (7:00 pm, ESPN):

FINAL: 69-59, Florida State

No. 58 Alabama vs. No. 4 Kentucky (7:00pm, SEC Network)

Alabama may be 58th in the NET Rankings but they are in danger of not making the cut. Kentucky meanwhile seems destined for high seed. Anyone above FSU that loses is a good thing, right? Roll Tide! FINAL: 73-55, Kentucky

No. 23 Iowa St. vs. No. 24 Kansas St. (7:-00pm, ESPN2)

Kansas St. is neck-and-neck for a 4-seed with FSU, but are below the ’Noles in the NET Rankings. The Wildcats losing could help FSU secure their seeding. Let’s go Cyclones! FINAL: 63-59, Iowas State

No. 98 SMU vs. No. 26 Cincinnati (7:00pm, ESPNU)

The Mustangs won’t be making the tourney, but Cincinnati winning means they could challenge the Houston Cougars in the American Conference tournament. The Cougars currently have a 3-seed above Florida State. Could Cincinnati upsetting Houston help FSU’s seeding? I don’t know, let’s find out! FINAL: 82-74, Cincinnati

No. 3 Duke vs. No. 7 North Carolina (9:00pm, ESPN)

Look, we get it. Zion is superhuman. A must-see human highlight reel. He even made Nike look bad. A modern day Hercules halfway through his twelve impossible labors. It would be nice if we got a break from that. Maybe the Tarheels can have this one? FINAL: 74-73, Duke

No. 20 Mississippi St. vs. No. 6 Tennessee (9:00pm, SEC Network)

The Volunteers are looking to lock up a 2-seed while the Bulldogs are trying to solidify a 5-seed. Mississippi St. are just behind FSU in the NET Rankings, and would be a tough out in any potential second-round matchup. Let’s go Vols! FINAL: 83-76, Tennessee

No. 124 San Diego St. vs. No. 18 Nevada (9:00pm, CBSSN)

The Wolfpack have only dropped three games all season, one of them to San Diego State, though Nevada did win their last matchup handily. The Wolfpack are the top seed in the Mountain West but aren’t challenging FSU’s seeding. How about we introduce a little chaos? Go Aztecs! FINAL: 65-56, Nevada

No. 105 West Virginia vs. No. 21 Kansas (9:00pm, ESPN2)

Kansas is in line for the top 4-seed above FSU. That’s all I need to hear. Let’s go Mountaineers! FINAL: 88-74, Kansas

No. 59 Seton Hall vs. No. 28 Marquette (9:00pm, FS1)

Seton Hall’s NET Ranking is 59, but they currently project to about a 10-seed right now while Marquette might get a 5-seed as the top team in the Big East. Marquette looks like a tough out if they were to face off in the tournament, so it might be best to pull for an upset here. Go Pirates! FINAL: 81-79, Seton Hall

No. 41 Iowa vs. No. 9 Michigan (9:25pm, BTN)

The Hawkeyes currently project as an 8-seed while Michigan is battling the Michigan State Spartans to solidify a 2-seed. If Iowa beats the Wolverines, they’ll face Purdue in the Big Ten tournament semifinals. A Purdue team FSU back in November. That can only help FSU. Go Iowa! FINAL: 74-53, Michigan


We’re in the heart of championship week, and that means 15 games in today’s rooting guide. Reminder: you can keep up with where FSU sits in NCAA Tourney projections via our consistently updated piece. You’re welcome. Let’s get to it.

-Thursday, March 14-

No. 16 Buffalo vs. No. 110 Akron (12 pm, ESPN+):

The Bulls are currently on the 6-line, and FSU could stand to see any run they’re planning on in the MAC Tourney stymied early. Zips! FINAL: 82-46, Buffalo

No. 75 Providence vs. No. 25 Villanova (12 pm, FS1):

’Nova is with Buffalo as a 6-seed, so the same logic applies: cheer for the Friars to halt any run that the defending champs may have in mind. Otherwise, their mascot may haunt your dreams. FINAL: 73-62, Villanova

No. 32 NC State vs. No. 1 Virginia (12:30 pm, ESPN):

If Florida State can top Virginia Tech in its ACC quarterfinal. It’ll face the winner of this game— and choosing which team you’d rather play here is easy. Pull for the ’Pack, which is also battling with UF on the bubble. FINAL: 76-56, Virginia

No. 23 Iowa State vs. No. 37 Baylor (12:30 pm, ESPN2):

The Cyclones are a 7-seed right now, while the Bears are a 9-seed. Go for the upset, and da Bears. FINAL: 83-66, Iowa State

No. 11 Virginia Tech vs. No. 19 Florida State (2:30 pm, ESPN):

FINAL: 65-63 (OT), Florida State

No. 47 TCU vs. No. 24 Kansas State (2:30 pm, ESPN2):

Simple choice. The Wildcats are the team right behind the Seminoles as a 4-seed. So should you root for the Horned Frogs to take a bite out of the squad from the little apple? Toadally. FINAL: 70-61, Kansas State

No. 52 Nebraska vs. No. 26 Maryland (3 pm, BTN):

The Terrapins have been a thorn in FSU’s side of late. Moreover, they’re a projected 5-seed, so the children of the corn are the call here. FINAL: 69-61, Nebraska

No. 151 Boise State vs. No. 18 Nevada (3 pm, CBSSN):

The Wolfpack are projected as the top 6-seed, and they don’t need to get any closer to FSU. So forget I said this come the Seminoles’ football season-opener, but go Broncos. FINAL: 77-69, Nevada

No. 78 Missouri vs. No. 17 Auburn (3:30 pm, SECN):

Am I the only one for whom cheering against Auburn just feels right? War Tigers. The other Tigers. FINAL: 81-71, Auburn

No. 66 St. John’s vs. No. 29 Marquette (7 pm, FS1):

The Johnnies are another one of those bubble teams that could help oust the reptiles, while posing no threat to FSU. The Golden Eagles, on the other hand, are the highest projected Big East squad, hanging on as the bottom 5-seed. This forecast calls for a Red Storm. FINAL: 86-54, Marquette

No. 111 West Virginia vs. No. 9 Texas Tech (7 pm, ESPN2):

If the ’Noles are to make a push to a 3-seed, they could really use some help from a team like WVU, which has the chance to upset a Red Raider group presently seeded third. So take me home, country roads. FINAL: 79-74, West Virginia

No. 22 Louisville vs. No. 7 North Carolina (7 pm, ESPN):

Let’s hope for chaos across the ACC bracket. The more elite teams eliminated, the better for the Seminoles if they can advance. Plus, it’s always a little sweeter when Carolina squads lose at a tournament held in their own backyard. Cards! FINAL: 83-70, North Carolina

No. 44 Syracuse vs. No. 3 Duke (9 pm, ESPN):

Same. ’Cuse isn’t catching FSU from the 9-line anyway. Orange you glad I didn’t say Duke? FINAL: 84-72, Duke

No. 38 Texas vs. No. 20 Kansas (9 pm, ESPN2):

The Jayhawks are directly above Florida State in Bracket Matrix, while the Longhorns are well down the seeding list and no threat— except for to the Gators on the bubble. Hook ’em! FINAL: 65-57, Kansas

No. 82 Texas A&M vs. No. 21 Mississippi State (9:30 pm, SECN):

The Bulldogs are currently a 5-seed. I don’t type the following words often. Gig ’em. FINAL: 80-54, Mississippi State

-Wednesday, March 13-

No. 32 NC State vs. No. 35 Clemson (12 pm, ESPN):

FSU has 1 win over the Wolfpack and 2 wins over the Tigers this season. NET and Bracket Matrix (NCSU is a projected 11-seed and Clemson is a 12) look at these teams as almost equals. I’d say go with the Basketball Dabos in this matchup, since the Seminoles beat them twice. FINAL: 59-58, NC State

No. 11 Virginia Tech vs. No. 91 Miami (2 pm, ESPN):

The winner of this game is Florida State’s next opponent in the ACC Tournament. The Hurricanes are a much worse team than the Hokies. Cheer for Miami here. Seriously, just do it. I know it’s gross and kind of dirty, but it also makes sense. I am truly sorry. FINAL: 71-56, Virginia Tech

No. 22 Louisville vs. No. 109 Notre Dame (7 pm, ESPN2):

Let’s keep that Louisville win as strong as possible. Go Cardinals! FINAL: 75-53, Louisville

No. 44 Syracuse vs. No. 117 Pittsburgh (9 pm, ESPN2):

The ’Noles beat Syracuse once and have an embarrassing loss to Pitt from earlier in the season. I’m in favor of an Orange victory here, as it keeps that win looking good. Also, the winner of this contest plays Duke next, and Jim Boeheim’s team has already defeated the Blue Devils once this year. As a general fan of chaos and upsets, I would love to see that happen again. FINAL: 73-59, Syracuse


-Tuesday, March 12-

No. 183 Wake Forest vs. No. 91 Miami (12 pm, ESPN):

This matchup kicks off a day of gross ACC games. Florida State beat each of these sorry squads twice, and the winner advances to play Virginia Tech for the right to face FSU. Miami is the better possible opponent. But do you really wanna cheer for the Hurricanes? FINAL: 79-71, Miami

No. 109 Notre Dame vs. No. 116 Georgia Tech (2:37 pm, ESPN):

The ’Noles beat GT twice and the last-place Irish just once, so pull for the Jackets and try not to throw up in your mouth while watching this monstrosity. FINAL: 78-71, Notre Dame

No. 117 Pittsburgh vs. No. 128 Boston College (7 pm, ESPN):

Evidently, FSU’s two worst losses got together for a reunion. I’m just sick of Boston fans getting to celebrate anything, so screw them, and go Panthers. FINAL: 80-70, Pittsburgh

No. 37 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 1 Gonzaga (9 pm, ESPN):

The Zags have now won 21 straight games and are going to be the top seed in the West, where everyone is predicting FSU will wind up as a 4-seed. That could mean a Sweet-16 rematch. I’m gonna go a little bit unconventional here and say that Seminole fans should root for the Bulldogs in this WCC Tournament final. Florida State’s not catching them anyway, so don’t give them a reason to refocus. FINAL: 60-47, Saint Mary’s

-Monday, March 11-

No. 57 UNC-Greensboro vs. No. 14 Wofford (7 pm, ESPN):

This is the Southern Conference Tournament’s championship game, between the top two seeds, two teams that have each won 28 games. UNCG is a bubble team that probably winds up in the NIT right now, so they’d love to get a win here to lock up the automatic bid. The bad news for the Spartans: in two regular season games against the Terriers this season, they’ve lost by 29 and 30 points, respectively. So I guess they’re due? Cheer for Sparty to pull the upset and help FSU leap Wofford in the NET Rankings. FINAL: 70-58, Wofford

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 166 Pepperdine (9 pm, ESPN):

No. 1 Gonzaga is in action as they take on the mighty Pepperdine and its slightly terrifying mascot. With a 9 pm tip, it’s probably safe to say most won’t be awake for the final score of this heavyweight bout, but we can still root for an early exit from the West Coast Tournament for the top-seeded Bulldogs. Go Waves! FINAL: 100-74, Gonzaga