2021's NCAA Tournament: FSU Can Grab Elite Seed Again-- But No Home Cooking
Florida State basketball was primed for a 2-seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament that never transpired-- well except for in simulations, like one from ESPN's Joe Lunardi that had the Seminoles getting all the way to the title game. But the 'Noles should be talented and deep enough to earn a top seed once again next year. At least that's what an early projection foresees.
Lunardi released his first projection of the 2021 tourney recently, and he has FSU on the 4-line. Now top four seeds are supposed to get geographic consideration, but that doesn't always work out, and he has Florida State starting play in San Jose against 13-seed South Dakota State.
But here's the thing: no matter how high a seed the Seminoles earn, they're not gonna find the hospitable opening assignment they would have in 2020, as they were all but assured to play their first two games in Tampa. And that's nobody's fault; it's just the reality of 2021's host cities.
Along with San Jose, the other cities serving as first- and second-round games in 2021:
- Boise, ID
- Dallas, TX
- Wichita, KS
- Lexington, KY
- Providence, RI
- Detroit, MI
- Raleigh, NC
Is there ever not a North Carolina host site, so the ACC blue bloods can make the Sweet 16 without leaving the state? (You guessed it: Duke is projected to open in Raleigh.) Anyway, that same Raleigh venue -- nine hours from Tallahassee -- is the closest to home the 'Noles can hope to commence play.
Prior to the Final Four in Indianapolis, the regionals will be decided in Memphis, Minneapolis, Denver, and Brooklyn. No help there, unless you count Memphis, which is eight and a half hours from Tally.
Here's FSU's bracket, per Lunardi: