WEST PLAINS, Mo.- A year ago, the Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers were nervously awaiting word on if they had received an at-large bid to the NJCAA National Tournament during the team's watch party inside Suncoast Credit Union Arena. Thursday, joined by some of their loyal fans at their watch party, there was much less drama, as having their ticket to the tourney already punched, the Bucs simply awaited their tournament seed, which was also of little suspense as the country's #1 team earned the #1 seed where they will take on #16 seeded Wallace State in the first round of the tournament next Thursday at 2 PM Eastern Time.
The Bucs head to West Plains, Missouri with a 23-1 record and Suncoast Conference and FCSAA State Championships in tow. FSW put together that impressive mark against one of the country's toughest schedules as the Bucs strength of schedule ranked 3rd according to the Massey Ratings this season. The Bucs earned 13 wins over ranked opponents in 2022 and were 6-0 against Top 10 ranked foes. There will be a lot of familiar faces for FSW at the National Tournament as the Bucs played seven matches against tournament teams this year, going a perfect 7-0.
The top four seeds from the final NJCAA National Poll were the top four seeds for the tournament as Indian Hills followed FSW at #2, Salt Lake at #3, and Western Nebraska at #4. Miami Dade was slotted 6th setting up a potential fourth matchup of the Bucs and Sharks on the final day of the tournament.
The Bucs opponent Wallace State hails from Alabama and is the representative out of the Gulf Atlantic B District. The Lions head to the Show Me State 38-7 overall. Their best wins of the season came over Vincennes and Spartanburg Methodist. They were 0-2 against National Tournament teams this season, both losses coming to 15th seeded Monroe in their District Tournament.
FSW and Wallace will clash at 2 PM Eastern Time on Thursday, November 17th in West Plains with the winner getting an 8:30 PM Eastern date later Thursday night in the quarterfinals against the winner of the 8/9 battle between Utah State-Eastern and Central Wyoming.