Florida Senate Claims Men's Basketball Title for FSU | Athletic Business

Florida Senate Claims Men's Basketball Title for FSU

At least one of the 68 teams scheduled to participate in the canceled NCAA men’s basketball tournament is claiming victory.

The Florida Senate passed a resolution declaring Florida State University the national champions by a 37-2 vote Friday.

The resolution, which was introduced by Republican Senator Joe Gruters, declared Florida State “champions by default” after the 2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“By virtue of tremendous skill on the court and the heart and spirit shown by the players and coaches this basketball season,” the resolution said of Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State (26-5), which was ranked fourth in the Associated Press poll released on March 9.

The ACC, which typically doesn’t recognize the regular-season champion, handed Florida State the championship trophy after the conference tournament was canceled. It was the first ACC title in program history.

Florida State’s only appearance in the national championship game was an 81-76 loss to UCLA in 1972.

According to USA Today, Gruters graduated from Florida State in 1999 and was on the school’s board of trustees from 2011 to 2016.

Kansas (28-3) was ranked atop the final regular-season AP poll and was the odds-on favorite to win the title. Gonzaga (29-2), Dayton (29-2), Florida State (26-5) and Baylor (26-4) rounded out the top five.

There’s precedence in the state of Florida. The University of Central Florida claimed the 2017 NCAA football championship after an undefeated season that wasn’t enough to earn a spot in the playoffs, which were won by Alabama. The 2018 NCAA record book listed UCF below Alabama as the teams that finished No. 1 after the 2017 season.

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