Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
U.S. | By Vera Richards

FSU knows mistakes would be costly vs. Xavier

FSU knows mistakes would be costly vs. Xavier

For the first time since 2012, Florida State men's basketball won a game in the NCAA Tournament, defeating FGCU 86-80. That's always been one of Duke's keys, and I think they've been successful over the years. And I'm proud of the people that's also redshirting to also make us better. "And my first year is when we started to take off".

Dwayne Bacon scored a team-high 25 points on 11 of 17 shooting, and Jonathan Isaac added 17 points for FSU (26-8), which will meet 11-seeded Xavier in the Round of 32 on Saturday. They went on a mini 6-2 run to close the half to earn a minimal four-point cushion going into the locker room. "He's skilled. He's athletic".

While Florida's leading scorer was off his game, East Tennessee State played well despite getting little help. I thought that was the difference in the game for us.

"I think it [predictions] is definitely a part of the fun", said White, who played at Ole Miss in '98 when Bryce Drew's buzzer-beater lifted 13th-seeded Valparaiso past the fourth-seeded Rebels. "When we pull together, we find ways [to win]".

As is having a coaching staff (including video coordinators Dicky Nutt and Bobby Suarez) that gives them so much detailed information in such a short time.

The Seminoles had nine blocked shots on the night while holding the Eagles to 29 per cent shooting from 3-point range and 41 per cent from the field. The Eagles never really threatened from that point on. "I think we played okay to finish, but the last 30 seconds of that first half we made too many mistakes that led to their offense and we were down four", said junior forward Kevin Mickle, a lot of them at Morant's expense.

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Momentum is certainly on the Eagles' side.

A dunk from Ojo put FSU up 28-19 in the first half, but FGCU answered with a 12-0 run, taking the lead on Rayjon Tucker's 3-pointer from the wing for a 30-28 to ignite the blue-and-green corner of the arena, making the three-hour drive from Fort Myers. He hit one shot to snap FGCU's extended run and threw down a one-handed dunk a few possessions later to help Florida State take a 40-36 lead into halftime. The Buccaneers did not attempt a free throw or have any fast-break points during the first half. We like to attack the basket.

Of course, Virginia - which beat another fast-paced foe, UNC Wilmington, on Thursday - played perhaps its best defensive game of the season in a 53-43 win over North Carolina on February 27.

Florida State was ranked as high as sixth - its first regular-season appearance in the top 10 in 24 years - after going 5-1 during a stretch when it faced six straight ranked teams.

There was plenty for Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton to be excited about following his team's victory over Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament's West Region.

"I don't know how they do it", Mann said of the video staff.

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