Florida State eliminated in Sweet Sixteen by Michigan in 76-58 loss

Michigan forward Brandon Johns Jr. (23) dunks over Florida State center Tanor Ngom (34) during...
Michigan forward Brandon Johns Jr. (23) dunks over Florida State center Tanor Ngom (34) during the first half of a Sweet 16 game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Sunday, March 28, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)(Darron Cummings | Associated Press)
Published: Mar. 28, 2021 at 7:10 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - For a second-straight NCAA Tournament, Florida State’s quest for a national title ends in the Sweet Sixteen as the Seminoles fell to the Michigan Wolverines, 76-58, Sunday afternoon.

It’s the second time in three NCAA Tournaments the Noles are eliminated at the hands of UM.

Trailing by 11 at the start of the second half, the opening five minutes of the frame went well for the Seminoles.

FSU came out with some offensive life: Anthony Polite (who played just nine first half minutes due to foul trouble) fought his way to the free throw line and made both shots, MJ Walker put home a lay-up from half court off a Balsa Koprivica pick at half court and FSU forced an ensuing five-second inbound violation on Michigan before Polite put home another lay-up to make it 36-27 with 17:28 to play.

Later in the half, the Noles cut the UM lead to just five points after FSU hit their first three-point shots of the game on back-to-back makes by Malik Osbourne and Anthony Polite brought FSU within 41-36 with 14:51 to play, but a 7-0 run by the Wolverines pushed the UM lead back to double figures.

That was as close as FSU would come, though, as the Wolverines ended the game on a 35-22 run to defeat FSU and end their tournament run.

In the second half, Michigan’s Franz Wagner overtook the game, driving through the Seminoles defense inside like butter and creating havoc on the defensive end of the floor. Michigan ended the game scoring 50 of their 76 points in the paint.

FSU scored just 28 points in the paint.

The game started well for the Seminoles, who jumped out to an early 4-2 lead thanks to a second-change bucket from RaiQuan Gray to open the scoring and an M.J. Walker jumper sandwiched between the first bucket of the game for Michigan.

Entering the first media timeout tied at 4-4, the Wolverine offense was able to break through first, going on a 12-2 run in the middle stages of the first half to take a 19-8 lead.

During that run, FSU went cold from the floor, hitting just two of 10 shots in that stretch and committing five turnovers which turned into 10 Wolverine points. The Noles finished the first half committing 10 turnovers (to Michigan’s four), with UM turning those into 16 points.

In the first half, the Noles made just one trip to the free throw line compared to putting the Wolverines there for 11 shots, putting UM in the bonus with over 6:40 left in the first half.

FSU was without RaiQuan Gray and Anthony Polite for a majority of the first half, after each were tagged for two early fouls. They combined to play just 12 minutes (Gray played three, Polite saw nine) in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Foul trouble plagued FSU in the second half, too, with Gray, Walker and Scottie Barnes ending the game with four fouls each, though no Seminole fouled out.

Osbourne finished with three fouls.

Michigan finished the game shooting 49% from the floor (compared to FSU’s 40%) and outrebounded the Noles, 37-31.

Osbourne and Walker, 12 and 10 points respectively, were the leading scores for the Seminoles.

Michigan saw three double-digit scorers: Hunter Dickinson (14), Brandon Johns Jr. (14) and Wagner (13).

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