March 18, 2018
NASHVILLE - Only two No. 1 seeds will be playing in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
NCAA tournament 2018: Another No. 1 seed falls as Florida State rallies past Xavier
No. 9 seed Florida State revenged its second-round loss to Xavier in the 2017 NCAA tournament with an 75-70 comeback win over the No. 1 seed Musketeers at Bridgestone Arena Sunday night.
The upset by the ninth-seeded Seminoles comes two days after No. 16 seed Maryland-Baltimore County shocked No. 1 Virginia in the first round.
It's only the fourth time since the tournament expanded in 1985 that two No. 1 seeds failed to get out of the second round.
The Seminoles earned their first tournament victory over a No. 1 seed. They also advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in seven years and will face Gonzaga on Thursday.
Florida State relied on its defense to generate its offense down in the final minutes, and sharp-shooting guard PJ Savoy drained a three to give the Seminoles their first lead of the second half at 71-70.
Florida State's defense came through once again with another turnover that resulted in two free throws by Savoy to put the Seminoles up three.
C.J. Walker's two free throws -- his only points of the night -- with under five seconds remaining put the game out of reach.
It was a 7-0 run over the final 1:08 to get the Seminoles the victory.
Florida State converted 19 of 22 free throws and ended the game on a 31-14 run over the final 10:44.
The Seminoles weren’t able to find the offense coming out of halftime, and when the Seminoles did, Xavier had an answer building up a 12-point lead through the first 10 minutes.
But the Seminoles wouldn’t quit.
FSU kept within striking distance, and continued to chip away at the Musketeer's lead and tied the game at 68 with 2:22 remaining.
Sophomore guard Trent Forrest was the best player on the court for the Seminoles for the second straight game. He finished with 13 points, five rebounds, three steals, and three assists in 26 minutes.
Senior guard Braian Angola led FSU with 16 points, and Savoy (11) senior forward Phil Cofer (10) and junior guard Terance Mann (10) also finished with double digit points.
The first half was just a series of runs between the two teams.
The Seminoles jumped out to a 8-2 lead on the back of some sharpshooting by Angola, but Xavier stormed right back with a 22-7 run to take a nine-point lead with 9:33 left in the first half.
FSU went on a run taking a 17-4 run – Keyed by big threes by Angola and Cofer -- while holding the Musketeers without a basket for over nine minutes to take a three-point lead with less than 30 seconds remaining in the half.
Xavier caught the Seminoles napping on an in-bounds pass and Macura tied the game with a three from deep range.
FSU then got what was supposed to be the last possession of the half, but a foul on center Christ Koumadje sent Bluiett to the free throw line.
He knocked down both and the Musketeers took a 34-32 lead into the half.
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