Day & Time: Tuesday, February 15, 6 p.m.
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
TV/Streaming: ACC Network
Radio: Cuse.com, ESPN 97.7
Rivalry: Syracuse, 5-4
Current Streak: Syracuse, 1
First Meeting: It took until Syracuse joined the ACC for the teams to square off. Florida State won the first meeting 83-59 at the Dome on Feb. 13, 2014.
Last Meeting: The Orange squeaked past FSU 68-67 in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals last March. Kamilla Cardoso paced the Orange with 16 points and 13 rebounds. She also had the putback at the buzzer to seal a 15-point ‘Cuse comeback.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Vonn Read (1st year, 11-12) | Florida State - Sue Semrau (24th year, 465-268)
Coach Bio: Semrau has been in charge in Tallahassee since the 1997-98 season. Under “Coach Sue’s” guidance, FSU went from a team that couldn’t win 10 games in a season to one of the most consistent programs in the ACC. It took four seasons for Semrau to build a tournament team, but once the Seminoles made it to the Big Dance, they would be tough to keep out.
14 of Semrau’s last 15 teams have made the NCAA Tournament. More impressively, she is a perfect 15-0 in the Round of 64. Her 2009-10 team made the Elite Eight, and FSU’s 2015 and 2017 tournament teams also made it that far.
The Seminoles program isn’t quite at that level anymore. Last season, Semrau opted out to help take care of her ailing mother. This year, FSU sits at 12-11 and will need something special to go dancing.
Last Year: The Seminoles had a solid season without Semrau at the helm. FSU went 10-9 and 9-7 in the ACC, including a win over No. 3 Louisville in late February. FSU was good enough to earn an at-large bid but lost convincingly to Oregon State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Morgan Jones is FSU’s player to watch. She leads the team with 14.4 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game and shoots it at 48 percent. She’s listed as a guard despite standing 6-foot-2, which could create a matchup problem for the much smaller Orange.
If Syracuse Wins: The Orange get back to .500 on the season and add a third game to their win streak. It would also be Syracuse’s first win against a team that sits above it in the ACC standings.
If Syracuse Loses: It probably establishes that the Orange are at the top of the bottom tier of ACC teams and means that there isn’t much hope of earning much higher than an 11-seed in Greensboro. It might also put a dent in the hopes of a WNIT appearance.
Fun Fact: Syracuse’s Teisha Hyman fills the stat sheet like no other. She’s the only player in the ACC averaging more than 15.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, four assists, and two steals per game. She went for 31 points against Pitt and will need to play at a high level for the rest of the season if the Orange want to make a charge.