basketball

Seminoles unfazed by upset predictions: 'We like being doubted'

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Junior Xavier Rathan-Mayes says the 'Noles embrace the doubts of college basketball experts.
Melina Vastola/USAToday Sports Images

Within minutes of the announcement that Florida State was a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Seminoles were put on “upset alert” by the analysts on CBS’ tournament selection show.

Other experts, including ESPN's Jay Bilas, also came out Sunday night and predicted that FSU will lose to No. 14 seed Florida Gulf Coast in Thursday’s opening round.

And to hear the Seminoles' players tell it, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

“That’s all right,” junior point guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes said. “Tell them we love being on upset alert. We’re gonna go out there and prove everybody wrong. That’s what we’ve done all year. Nobody believed in us since the beginning of the year.”

After missing the NCAA Tournament each of the past four seasons, it was understandable that FSU received little attention in preseason predictions. The Seminoles were tabbed to finish eighth in the ACC by the league media back in October, and they were unranked in the national polls.

But even after finishing second in the ACC during the regular season and at one point soaring to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 after going 5-1 in six straight games against Top 25 competition, Florida State still appears to be the team that experts love to doubt.


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