It was supposed to be a rebuilding season for the Seminoles after losing three starters from last year's NCAA tournament team to the National Basketball Association.
The game will tip off after the Xavier vs. play-in victor game, which begins at 6:20 p.m. TBS will air the game. FSU (20-11, 9-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) will play its first game on Friday against No. 8 seed Missouri in Nashville, Tennessee.
The victor will face the victor of Xavier vs.
Missouri has suspended forward Jordan Barnett for the Tigers' opening game Friday of the NCAA tournament after the team's second-leading scorer was arrested for suspicion of DWI early Saturday morning. Xavier opens with the victor of Wednesday's play-in game between North Carolina Central and Texas Southern. If MU makes it to the second round, Coach Martin said Barnett could be available to play. The school handbook for athletes says driving under the influence merits a minimum one-week suspension for a first offense. We've managed to get to this point. Jordan's out, Mike's in. If this policy is followed, Barnett would miss at least one NCAA Tournament game. For head coach Leonard Hamilton, it's the ninth tournament appearance of his career. The 2018 tournament will mark FSU's 16th appearance.
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The Seminoles made the tournament last season and advanced to the second round before being ousted by Xavier.
When he inherited the core of a team coming off three miserable years, Martin didn't initially think the Tigers could reach these milestones - 20 wins, fourth place in the SEC, NCAA Tournament at-large bid - but he became a believer over time, even while roster turnover gutted his rotations.
This result was in question as late as two weeks ago.
"I told them this way back", he said Sunday, "'You'll be the team they say turned it around'".