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FSU women to face Missouri State in NCAA Tournament

The Florida State women’s basketball team made a late rally this season to push its way into the NCAA Tournament.

No. 11 seed FSU (17-13) will play Missouri State in a play-in game against No. 11 seed Missouri State on Thursday at 9 p.m. (ESPN2) in Baton Rouge, La. The FSU-Missouri State winner will face No. 6 seed Ohio State (23-6) on Saturday.

The team’s chances of reaching the field of 68 didn’t look good until February upsets of Notre Dame and Georgia Tech in Tallahassee and went 7-3 since the Feb. 6 win over the Fighting Irish.

“I was very confident with what we have been able to do to get ourselves in the tournament,” FSU coach Sue Semrau said. “I felt that way because it’s the first time that we’ve gotten to play, to have a field of 68 where the men have had it for I don’t know how many years. Had it been 64, I would have been extremely nervous. The field of 68 gave us a chance to overcome a lot of things that we had to overcome early and just really proud of the way that this team’s responded to adversity.”

Semrau said she was a “huge proponent” of seeing the NCAA Women’s Tournament expand to 68 teams for the first time this March. FSU and Missouri State are facing off in one of the play-in games, a format which the men’s NCAA Tournament adopted about a decade ago.

The Seminoles have now played in the NCAA Tournament in each of the past nine seasons, not counting the canceled March 2020 event. FSU becomes one of just eight programs to make each of the last nine NCAA Tournaments, joining Baylor, Louisville, Maryland, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee and UConn.

“This is a team that goes to the NCAA Tournament,” All-ACC guard Morgan Jones said. “And since I’ve been here, we’ve done exactly that. … We’ve really done a great job with that and I think that all my teammates, including myself, I think we’re all excited and we don’t take this moment for granted because, like we said, it’s only 68 teams. Being one of those 68, it just means a lot to us and we know that we’re gonna keep working. It’s a whole new season.”

FSU has also played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times under Semrau.

A full NCAA women’s bracket can be viewed here. The ACC had eight teams make the tournament, including Louisville (1), NC State (1), North Carolina (5), Notre Dame (5), Virginia Tech (5), Miami (8), Georgia Tech (9) and FSU (11 seed).