March 18, 2016

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) Florida State has had a long layoff after a disappointing finish in the ACC Tournament.

The fifth-seeded Seminoles haven't played in 15 days since losing to Miami in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. Now they'll look to avoid falling to 12th-seed Middle Tennessee on Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

''I think, generally, having as long of a period of time where you haven't played a game is difficult for us,'' said Seminoles coach Sue Semrau. ''For us, we're fortunate that we have a little bit of a break over spring break, and so we could give them some time off without having to go to classes and let them get away and clear their minds a little bit. So, when they came back, they were really mentally rested, and we have had really good preparation leading up to this time.''

Middle Tennessee is playing in the NCAAs for the ninth time in 11 seasons after winning the Conference USA Tournament. Senior guard Brea Edwards, who leads the team with 17.9 points, said the Seminoles are ''big in the post and we expect them to rebound. But I think that with our scout and the way practices have been going, our team, Middle Tennessee, we know what we need to do, and I think we're going to go out there and do it.''

That game will be played before host Texas A&M plays 13-seed Missouri State. The fourth-seeded Aggies will play in the NCAAs for an 11th consecutive season.

''We're really going to look to attack them,'' said guard Courtney Walker. ''We worked on man and zone this week. They're mostly a man team, but with the kind of players we have we're also anticipating zone as well just because of the strength and the players on our team.''

TOURNAMENT TIDBITS

LEAVING A MARK: Walker needs 35 points to pass Takia Starks (1,977) for the school-record in career points. Fellow senior Courtney Williams ranks ninth in career points for the Aggies, entering the game against Missouri State with 1,462.

HIGH CHANCE OF SNOW: Tyonna Snow of Blue Springs leads the Lady Bears in every major statistic. She will be a factor on both ends of the court, keeping with a career trend. The senior ranks top four in active NCAA Division I players in steals, steal average and free throw attempts.

GOOD TO BE BACK: Florida State's Leticia Romero has played all around the world, including multiple stints with the Spanish Women's National Team. The junior from Las Palmas, who attended junior college in Texas, said ''it's really good to be close to somewhere that's familiar, where people know you, but at the same time it's a business trip and it wouldn't matter where we were, but it's really fun to be back in Texas.''

PLENTY OF POSTSEASON- Middle Tennessee joins Texas A&M and Dallas regional No. 1 seed Baylor as three of 10 schools to make the NCAA tournament in both men's and women's basketball as well as have the football program play in a bowl game.

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