TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — There will be no national champion in college basketball this year after the NCAA canceled "March Madness" amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. But one Florida lawmaker is doing his part to make sure his alma mater isn't forgotten in the annals of hoops history.
State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, drafted a resolution Friday proclaiming Florida State the 2020 national champion "by default upon cancellation of the NCAA tournament due to concerns raised by the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19."
The resolution recognizes the accomplishments of the No. 4 Seminoles (26-5, 16-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), both achieved and unfulfilled.
Florida State won the regular-season ACC title for the first time in school history and earned the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament. But the Seminoles' season abruptly ended when postseason play was canceled Thursday, leaving the ACC to proclaim Florida State as the official league champion.
Gruters' resolution claims the Seminoles "were favored to challenge the top seeds in the national tournament and take home the national title." It goes on to praise ACC coach of the year Leonard Hamilton and the team for their "tremendous skill on the court and the heart and spirit shown by the players and coaches this basketball season."
At least one well-known ESPN analyst agrees with Gruters. Dick Vitale took to Twitter to say he would have picked the Seminoles to win the whole thing.
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) March 13, 2020
Gruters received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University.
The resolution was adopted by the Florida Senate after a second reading and will be presented to Hamilton and FSU President John Thrasher "as a tangible token of the sentiments of Florida State."