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Seminoles return to NCAA tournament, will open against Missouri

13 March 2018

The No. 8 seeded Tigers will open the tourney against the No. 9 seeded Florida State Seminoles in Nashville.

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.

Wins over Clemson, North Carolina and Florida impressed the Selection Committee, though, so the Noles are in the field of 68.

Missouri is coming off a disappointing loss to Georgia in the SEC Tournament, but freshman Michael Porter Jr. saw significant action for the first time. Florida State has now made the NCAA Tournament 16 times. It waited another 20 to learn its fate: The Gators are a No. 6 seed in the East Region and will play in Dallas.

If Hamilton's squad is going to make a run in the NCAA Tournament, they will have to get back on track quickly.

"I was praying to God we wouldn't end up in Wichita", he said.

His team responded with three consecutive wins to conclude the regular season, all of which came against NCAA Tournament-bound teams (Auburn, Alabama and Kentucky). Florida State finished around where it was projected to at the beginning of the season when many sites pegged the Seminoles as a bubble team.

But first things first and that is the Tigers first round matchup against the Seminoles of Florida State. This team has already reached what most fans would say was their number one goal before the season, they've made the dance.

If you harbor conspiracy theories about how the tournament field is assembled, the vacant 8-9 seeding line for KU's presumptive second-round game screamed for Missouri to be flashed as one of the prospective foes in waiting.

This is Missouri's 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, though their 1994 appearance was vacated. The 2018 tournament will mark FSU's 16th appearance.

This season already has featured a remarkable turnaround, particularly considering the almost instantaneous loss of Michael Porter Jr. inside of two minutes into the opener against Iowa State.

Seminoles return to NCAA tournament, will open against Missouri