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FSU basketball drops in 2019-2020 NCAA Tournament projection for 3rd straight time

Is this slide warranted?

NCAA Basketball Tournament - West Regional - Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Off-season projections should be taken for what they’re worth: educated guesses. And typically, with not a ton going on, they don’t tend to fluctuate too much, one way or another. Which is why Florida State hoops’ continued fall in ESPN’s bracketology for the 2019-2020 NCAA Tourney is rather interesting.

Joe Lunardi’s first projection for 2020’s big dance came out on April 8, 2019, when last season’s national title was decided. He had the Seminoles as a 5-seed in the West, opening play against 12-seed Liberty. The next day, Mfiondu Kabengele declared, somewhat surprisingly, for the NBA Draft.

So it was no surprise when the ’Noles dropped in ESPN’s next tournament projection, released on May 16. Lunardi slid FSU down to an 8-seed, facing 9-seed Texas in the South. And just a few days ago, the Seminoles dipped another line, being projected as a 9-seed in the West, vs. 8-seed Utah State.

ESPN has also soured some on the ACC, adjusting the conference’s number of teams in the tourney from eight to seven to six over the three aforementioned projections.