Greatest Basketball Programs of the South: No. 21 Florida State Seminoles

Ryne E. HancockCorrespondent IMay 4, 2010

Florida State Seminoles

Location: Tallahassee, Florida

Nickname: Seminoles

Reason For Nickname: The Seminole tribes in the state of Florida

Colors: Garnet and Gold

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference

Arena: Donald L. Tucker Center (built 1981, capacity 12,100) 

Conference Championships:

1955 Florida Collegiate Champions (tournament)

1991 Metro Conference Champions (regular-season)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 1968, 1972 (Final Four), 1978, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992 (Sweet 16), 1993 (Elite 8), 1998, 2009, 2010

NIT Appearances: 1984, 1987, 1997 (Final Four), 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008

Coaching Legacy: Florida State’s rise to national prominence can be attributed to the coaching of Hugh Durham, who played at Florida State in the 1950’s. Durham led the ‘Noles from 1966 to 1978 and holds the highest winning percentage of any Florida State coach at .708. After Durham left, Pat Kennedy brought respectability back to the program and led the basketball program into the ACC in 1992. Kennedy would take the program to five NCAA Tournaments and their first conference championship in 36 years in 1991 by winning the Metro Conference.

Big Man On Campus: Florida State’s most famous player is former Boston Celtics great Dave Cowens, who played for the Seminoles from 1966 to 1970 and is one of three players to ever have their jerseys retired, joining Hugh Durham and Bob Sura. Other notables include former Heisman winner and New York Knick Charlie Ward and former Pacers standout George McCloud, who was the first lottery pick in school history.

Rivalries: Like their football counterparts, the Seminole basketball program has a heated rivalry with the Florida Gators as well. Although the Gators have taken the lead as the flagship basketball program in the state, the Seminoles still manage a pretty balanced rivalry with the Gators on the hardwood.

Did You Know?: Florida State is one of two schools in the ACC that has had a pick in the NBA Draft every year since 2004.

Florida State Seminoles Basketball by the numbers:

Seasons: 62

All-time wins: 996

Conference Regular Season Championships: 1

Conference Tournament Championships: 1

NCAA Appearances: 11

Final Fours: 1

Elite Eights: 2

Sweet 16′s: 3