Women's basketball coach Sue Semrau knows her team is on the bubble for a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid as it enters the ACC tournament tonight in Greensboro, N.C.
The Seminoles have a solid record against a daunting nonconference schedule and the nation's 38th toughest overall, according to CollegeRPI.com. But they lack a signature win that would distinguish them from others with a similar resume.
"We have to have a great showing in the (ACC) tournament," Semrau said.
Her No. 6-seeded Seminoles (17-12, 7-7) open against Wake Forest (15-14, 2-12), a team they beat 80-54 in the lone meeting this season in Tallahassee. The winner faces No. 3-seeded Duke.
"If we have 18 wins and play Duke in a tight game, that shows a lot," she said.
Expect Semrau to turn to her tri-captains, senior guard Shante Williams and junior guards Tanae Davis-Cain and Mara Freshour.
"They're the only three upperclassmen we have," Semrau said. "They're trying to really work with our younger players to tell them what it takes and what we need to go to an NCAA Tournament again and they know what it takes once they get there."
"I think everybody knows what position we're in," said Freshour, who's probably been the team's best all-around and most versatile player.
BOWDEN DOCUMENTARY: Bobby Bowden hasn't seen a cut of George Butler's film about him and the program, but was excited to hear the screening of the work-in-progress Friday in Tampa was well received.
"When he came to me about it, I said, 'No way. No one's going to be interested in me,' " Bowden said. "But he seemed to think they would be. … I felt it would be good to get that PR, but I didn't know how he was going to make a movie out of that thing."
He was particularly pleased to hear about the scenes that showed how engaged he is, from his grilling coaches about the game plan to pregame interaction with players to a challenging halftime speech against Florida.
"That's good because I would hear comments last year, 'Coach Bowden doesn't know what's going on. He's standing way down on the 35 and the guys calling plays are up on the other 35. He's not even in it,' " he said. "They don't know I have a telephone and I can hear everything that's being said and I can talk to them."
ACC AND TAMPA: Apparently, the ACC hasn't soured on Tampa as a potential host site for events after comments from USF officials and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio about the problems the league's championship football game poses for the Bulls.
"Tampa's been good partners with us and we want to be good partners with them," ACC commissioner John Swofford told the Times.
The league, however, isn't locking into anything. After the game's here in 2008 and 2009, it shifts to Charlotte, N.C., for two years. Swofford said that Orlando "may well be a factor" in the next cycle since its planned stadium renovations should be completed.
He said after this four-year period, possibilities are an annual or two-year rotation, or seeking a permanent home.
NET GAIN: The women's tennis team (10-1, 1-0) jumped four spots to a program best No. 12 national ranking by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. "It makes the girls feel confident to get that recognition," coach Jennifer Hyde said.
Brian Landman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3347.