FSU avenges last year's loss against Xavier, 75-70

Florida State would force three Xavier (29-6) turnovers in their final run to solidify a solid defensive effort.

Florida State picked a flawless time to make its presence felt during March Madness.

With a few seconds left in the Seminoles' 75-70 win over No. 1 seed Xavier in Nashville, Tenn., a couple Florida State bench players left the bench area to begin celebrating.

FSU fans were on life support for much of the game as the Noles had to stave off multiple runs by the Musketeers.

Even in a two-possession game, a technical foul would have given the Musketeers hope. However, No. 11 Syracuse has a chance to go from the final team in the field to an Elite Eight participant.

The Florida State Seminoles are on their way to the NCAA Tournament's round of 16 for the first time since 2011 after upsetting top-seeded Xavier with a furious comeback.

Up next, the Seminoles take on No. 4 Gonzaga.

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MI beat Purdue for the Big Ten title at Madison Square Garden, where more than 4,000 seats went unsold for the championship game. Texas is fighting for its NCAA tournament life and could ill-afford to drop its first Big 12 tournament game to Iowa State.

The second one tied the score at 68 until Xavier star Trevon Bluiett ran a fast break, drew a blocking foul and made two free throws with 1:39 left. One year ago in the very same round and region, 11-seed Xavier would rout the Seminoles (91-66).

During their last five games, the Bulldogs have scored an average of 80.6 points per game (3.6 below their season average) and allowed an average of 66.2 points per game (1.3 below their season average). With 15 points on 5-for-12 shooting, Braian Angola led Florida State in scoring. Mfiondu Kabengele scored his second consecutive bucket, tying it up at 68 with 2:32 to go.

Cierra Dillard led the way with 22 points in the win for Buffalo. Trent Forrest added 13, Savoy finished with 11, and Cofer and Mann each had 10. Gonzaga has seen the over go 8-2 in their last 10 non-conference games, 6-2 in their last eight neutral site contests, 5-2 in their last seven overall and 5-2 in their last seven after a straight up win. Xavier's J.P Macura led all scorers with 17.

Robert Williams finished with 13 rebounds, helping the Aggies take a 50-36 edge while shooting 52 percent - including 10 of 24 from 3-point range.

DETROIT - Tyus Battle had 17 points and Oshae Brissett scored 15, lifting 11th-seeded Syracuse into the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16. We've seen Gonzaga has guys like that in spades, especially Norvell Jr., who hit the game winning three against UNC Greensboro in the opening round and helped carry the Bulldogs down the stretch against the Buckeyes.

"Pretty emotional ending, finality, of what I think is the greatest sporting event in the country", said Xavier Coach Chris Mack, whose program had looked on the verge of a third Sweet 16 in four seasons and a sixth in 11. This is going to be a competitive basketball game, but when push comes to shove - the tournament experience of the Bulldogs is going to be the key. Bet on the Gonzaga Bulldogs -5 over the Florida State Seminoles in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.


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