Florida State lost to Gonzaga 67-60 last night in Buffalo. The season is done.
The two obvious factors in this game were Gonzaga's tremendous shooting and the refs. The men in stripes called the game tighter than a-- well, you know what. Alabi and Singleton were quickly on the bench and it became obvious that the refs, 2 of whom hailed from the Horizon and Atlantic Sun conferences were not going to allow physical play. Add to that Gonzaga, already a good shooting team, shot the lights out in the first half.
As you can see, Gonzaga shot the lights out. Only 5 times this season did an opponent have a better offensive game against the Noles: @ Ohio State, @ Duke, Maryland, @ Clemson, and the NC STate game. Gonzaga's 53.6% shooting was incredible. But what really stands out is that Gonzaga shot 10 more free throws than Florida State. FSU needed Chris Singleton and Solomon Alabi to have big games and the refs just didn't allow for physical play, quickly calling 2 fouls on each. Within the first few minutes of the game it was clear to see Florida State was in trouble. This team isn't made to play a non-contact game of horse. For its part, Florida State had it's best ball-handling game of the year, turning the ball over only 12.5% of the time. And FSU was tremendous on the defensive glass, grabbing a rebound on 78% of Gonzaga's misses. But give Gonzaga credit. They were the better team for the style of play that was allowed last night in Buffalo.
With that said, give Gonzaga credit for taking advantage of its opportunities and having a shooting performance for the ages.
While this loss hurts, this season has to be considered a success when measured against pre-season expectations. We'll have more later in the coming weeks, but the future of this team looks bright and FSU has to be considered squarely in the top half of ACC basketball programs.