While a few games were already known, today the “entire” non-conference slate for the upcoming Florida State Seminoles men’s basketball season was released (imagine me doing air quotes around “entire” because the opponent for the annual Orange Bowl Classic matchup has yet to be announced...though I’ve heard USF being mentioned). FSU SID Chuck Walsh released the news on Seminoles.com.
Looking for a third consecutive trip to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, the men in garnet and gold actually tip off the regular season with a road conference game against the Pittsburgh Panthers. This is part of the ACC’s move to 20 league games. After the visit to the Oakland Zoo, it’s 11 consecutive OOC foes for the ’Noles.
Seemingly, the strongest non-conference opponent comes immediately against the rival Florida Gators in Gainesville. In fact, after Kerry Blackshear’s recent grad transfer from the Virginia Tech Hokies, many folks are talking up the Gators as a potential Final Four team. However, Mike White hasn’t tasted much success against Leonard Hamilton, as FSU aims for its sixth win in a row against UF.
Other highlights of the non-con schedule include a road game against the Indiana Hoosiers in this year’s ACC/Big 10 Challenge. And a few days prior, FSU will compete in the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, FL, where the Seminoles are guaranteed a game against the Tennessee Volunteers and will then face off against either the Purdue Boilmakers or Virginia Commonwealth Rams—both familiar opponents for Florida State.
On the other other end of the spectrum, FSU will face a handful of low-major programs with directions or cities in their name. In previous years these games would’ve been a death knell to a team’s RPI. However, under the new NET rankings (assuming the NCAA doesn’t change the formula), playing terrible teams isn’t a killer...so long as you run up the score.
Overall, the schedule features a solid mix of six home games, two road games against high-major teams, and three neutral-site games. See below for the full schedule first reported by Seminoles.com:
What are your thoughts? Got a prediction for FSU’s OOC record? Will anyone be heading to Destin for the Emerald Coast event?