Florida State and Florida received their NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bids Sunday and despite bombing in their respective conference tournaments got a good piece of news.
Both will start their tournament today (Thursday) in Orlando, one of eight opening round tournament sites and the most convenient for the two schools’ fans.
The Gators (24-8) will play the second game of the opening round in Orlando at approximately 3:20 PM, meeting Middle Tennessee State on the TrueTV Network.
The Seminoles (25-8) will play the final game of the four-game set at approximately 9 PM on TNT, meeting Florida Gulf Coast, another team that should bring a parcel of fans.
Florida is seeded 4 in the East Region and with a win would meet the Virginia-Wilmington winner Saturday while a Florida State win would pit them against a Maryland-
Xavier victor following the first game in West Region action.
The eight teams already mentioned in this column, join sixty other teams that drew bids in the event that started Tuesday and Wednesday with the Dayton Round.
The ACC led the bidding with nine teams. Duke, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, and Wake Forest join FSU and Virginia as entrants.
Other conferences with a number of bids are the Big East and the Big Ten with seven each, the Big Twelve with six, and the SEC and PAC Twelve with five apiece.
After Sunday, fifty-two games will have been played in the tournament with the Sweet Sixteen round set for next weekend.
I think the Seminoles will survive to next weekend but I feel the Gators will fall to Virginia Saturday after beating Middle Tennessee Thursday.
My predictions are that Villanova, Baylor, Duke, Gonzaga, Notre Dame, Arizona, Kansas, Purdue, Creighton, Louisville, North Carolina, UCLA and Kentucky will join FSU and
the Cavaliers in the Sweet Sixteen.
As usual, it will be fun watching the event whether I'm right or wrong.