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LIVE UPDATES: Seminoles fall to Wolverines, eliminated in Sweet Sixteen

Michigan center Hunter Dickinson (1) fights for the opening tipoff with Florida State center...
Michigan center Hunter Dickinson (1) fights for the opening tipoff with Florida State center Balsa Koprivica (5) 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 1:11 PM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WCTV) - It’s a third-straight trip to the Sweet Sixteen for the Florida State Seminoles and, for the second time in three tournaments, the Noles will square off against the Michigan Wolverines in the tournament’s second weekend.

It’s been defense that has carried the Seminoles into the Sweet Sixteen, allowing just 53.5 points in their wins over UNC Greensboro and Colorado in the first two rounds. FSU combined to hold the Spartans and Buffaloes to a 33.6% shooting percentage, while shooting over 52% themselves.

Conversely, the Wolverines have gotten to Sunday by relying on their offense: Michigan has averaged 84.0 points per game so far in the NCAA Tournament, and shot 53% from the floor in their round of 32 game against LSU, beating the Tigers 86-78.

While that’s been the course over the span of the tournament, the roles were actually somewhat reversed in the regular season: FSU averaged more points (if only barely) than the Wolverines despite shooting worse from every spot on the floor: FSU averaged 78 points to UM’s 76.8, but the Wolverines shot 48.5% from the floor (FSU shot 47.8%), 38.5% from three (38.2) and 78% from the free throw line (73.9%).

It’s the closest-seeded matchup in the Sweet Sixteen and something has to give: Are we going to get a barn-burner shootout or are we in for yet another defensive slugfest?

Below will be a running live blog of tonight’s game between the Noles and Wolverines: We’ll have some game updates, analysis and running thoughts throughout the day. For up-to-the-minute updates, be sure you’re following myself and WCTV Sports on Twitter. Our Sports Director Ryan Kelly will also be active on Twitter during the game and will have you covered as well.

Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. on WCTV.

FINAL: MICHIGAN 76 - FLORIDA STATE 58

Sorry for the lack of updates down the home stretch, gang, but to be honest...there wasn’t much to say. Franz Wagner turned it into overdrive in the closing minutes but other than that, this game was settled well before hand.

Anyway, our gamer is up and I want to thank you for joining us for our coverage not just today, but the entire tournament.

We’ll see you in November for the start of (hopefully a far more normal) 2021/22 hoops season.

The focus shifts to baseball and softball!

2nd half, 7:18: 60-43 Michigan

It’s a 10-2 run for the Wolverines, who have hit six of their last eight shots from the floor. The Seminoles have gone 2:18, and counting, without scoring.

Earlier in the first half, the Seminoles were stingy in the paint on defense. That...has worn down, as the Wolverines are outscoring the Noles, 42-22, in the paint.

Things...are looking dim for the Seminoles of Florida State.

2nd half, 11:19: 50-41 Michigan

It’s a start-stop comeback attempt for Florida State, but they might run out of time if they continue on their current pace.

Although, this was, at one point, a five-point game: Back-to-back three’s from Malik Osbourne and Anthony Polite (the first three’s of the game for FSU, by the way) brought the Seminoles within 41-36 with 14:51 to play, but a 7-0 run by the Wolverines put it back to double figures.

Currently, it’s a nine-point deficit for the Tribe, with the following in foul trouble: Scottie Barnes (4), MJ Walker, RaiQuan Gray (3).

2nd half, 15:47: 40-30 Michigan

It’s been a pretty strong start to the second half for the Seminoles, but Michigan is starting to settle things down.

FSU came within nine points after a sequence that saw Anthony Polite (who played just nine first half minutes due to foul trouble) fight his way to the free throw line (made both), an MJ Walker lay up off a Balsa pick at half court, a five-second inbound violation on Michigan and a Polite lay-up made it a 36-27 game.

The Noles were most recently within eight points after an and-one play from RaiQuan Gray (who played just three minutes in the first half due to foul trouble), but the Wolverines will open the return to play with free throws.

HALFTIME: MICHIGAN 32 - FLORIDA STATE 21

It’s the second-straight game FSU has logged a season-low for points in a first half. Not great.

But, if you’re looking for a silver lining, FSU held UM without a field goal for the final 2:47 of the half and the Wolverines hit just one of their last seven shots from the floor (and missed each of their last four).

There’s a lot that needs to be fixed in the second half though. You hope that Gray and Polite’s return to the floor will give the Noles a different switch to work with.

Also, want to address the officiating: A lot of the conversation on Twitter today has been about how one-sided the calls have been, and I’d like to say I do agree to an extent. The more important thing here, though, isn’t that FSU is getting calls, it’s that they aren’t able to play their most effective defense with how tight this game is being called on that end of the floor.

1st half, 3:52: 27-16 Michigan

Final media timeout before the half and...not much has really changed since our last check in. FSU is continuing to turn the ball over (10) and UM is continuing to score (16 points off turnovers). If there’s one thing keeping the Noles in this one, it’s rebounding: 11 of FSU’s 15 rebounds are on the defensive glass, limiting UM’s second (or sometimes third, fourth...) chances.

Once that ends, this one will end.

1st half, 6:43: 23-14 Michigan

Good news: FSU is no longer on a four-minute scoreless streak and have made each of their last three shots from the floor.

Bad news: They’re still turning the ball over and before ending their four-minute scoreless streak, Michigan rattled off a 12-2 run to take the early control of this game.

FSU is starting to improve their shooting percentage, which was below 30% at one point (35%) but that isn’t going to matter much if the Seminoles continue to let UM shoot 42% from the floor.

The Noles are also turning the ball over too much, and much like we saw against Colorado on Monday, a good number of those turnovers are coming in or around the paint, trying to work the ball inside.

Oh, and the foul situation: Michigan is in the bonus for the remainder of the half. RaiQuan Gray and Anthony Polite both have two fouls.

1st half, 11:25: 17-8 Michigan

Things are unraveling, quickly, for FSU, who are on the wrong side of an 8-0 run. Added to that, FSU has hit just two of their last 10 field goal attempts and haven’t scored in 2:18.

Michigan is starting to feel themselves from three-point range and are shooting 45% overall (compared to FSU’s just 31%).

The biggest early-game tell stat (is that a thing? I’m making it a thing) is points off turnovers: FSU has committed five which has led to 10 UM points.

Also, the Noles officially have some foul trouble: The next Tribe foul will put the Wolverines in the bonus and we aren’t yet at the halfway point Also, RaiQuan Gray has two fouls, so it’s very unlikely we won’t see him again this half.

1st half, 15:51: 4-4

Not a whole lot happening in the early going. Things started well for the Seminoles - they won the tip and, despite missing their first three shots, were able to get offensive boards and put home the first shot of the game.

Since then, it’s been back and forth without a lot going on. Noles are shooting 33% to UM’s 25% early. FSU does have three early fouls, though (UM straddled with just one so far).

LINEUPS

We have lineups!

It’s chalk for the Seminoles: RayQuan Evans, Anthony Polite and M.J. Walker will start at guard, RaiQuan Gray is the starting forward and Balsa Koprivica lines up at the five.

UM will start this one: Mike Smith (G), Franz Wagner (G), Eli Brooks (G), Brandon Johns Jr. (F) and freshman phenom Hunter Dickinson (C).

PREGAME

Hello one and all, and happy Seminole Sweet Sixteen Sunday! FSU looks to seek revenge against the program that removed them from the 2018 tournament.

We didn’t have a ton of true preview material this week, but our Ryan Kelly did speak with Michigan Insider’s Zach Shaw about what makes this UM team go, how they matchup against the Noles and how he thinks today’s game will shape up.

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