FSU Basketball overlooked in final coaches poll

Haylee Blitch/NoleGameday

23 wins, 6 wins over ranked opponents, 3 straight wins over higher ranked seeds, and absolutely zero respect. USA Today released their final coaches poll of the season on Tuesday, with Florida State slotting in at No. 18. Kansas State was the only other team that made the Elite Eight to finish behind the Seminoles in the rankings.

Some of the teams who were ranked above FSU include Xavier and Gonzaga, who the `Noles personally dispatched in the second round and Sweet Sixteen respectively. Michigan State, Cincinnati, Tennessee, and North Carolina were also ranked higher despite being upset in the second round.

However, the most disrespectful choice may have been the one to put the first No. 1 seed in tournament history to lose to a No. 16 seed in the top-five. Virginia was knocked out on the first weekend of play yet they belong at No. 5? Every single team ranked behind them in the polls made it further than them in the big dance. Oh, sweet irony.

The analysts need to recognize that what the Seminoles did this year wasn’t luck. They played at a high octane tempo and used their quality depth to outlast the opposition. The athleticism and size that FSU boasts is not something that most teams can easily replicate.

No one expected Florida State to get to where they did. Not me, not you, not your neighbor. But still, they ended up just four points away from a Final Four appearance. The team that ended up knocking the `Noles out, Michigan, tore through Loyola-Chicago (No. 7 in the poll) in the second half of their matchup. It’s not hard to think that FSU would’ve been doing much of the same had they been in the Wolverine’s position. Blowing out a gassed cinderella who couldn’t continue to field the quality of depth that they had in the second half.

Now, the Seminoles are responding to the disrespect. Terance Mann, Mfiondu Kabengele, and Phil Cofer took to Twitter to express their displeasure over FSU’s final ranking of the season.

Despite being overlooked by the media, Florida State is expected to return 10-11 players in 2018 after CJ Walker’s transfer. Cofer is still waiting to be officially approved for a waiver that will allow him to return for a fifth season. Leonard Hamilton can use this disrespect as fuel on the fire for a team who proved everyone wrong in March.

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