NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 18: Dion Dixon #3 of the Cincinnati Bearcats and Deividas Dulkys #4 of the Florida State Seminoles lay on the ground after colliding in the second half during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 18, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Needing a big game to advance, FSU was outplayed by the Cincinnati Bearcats in a tough, physical game which the Bearcats won 62-56. FSU's defense played one of its best games all sesaon, limiting a top-50 offense to just 62 points in 67 possessions (0.93 per possession). And this with the Bearcats, one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the nation, making 19-23 (83%) free throws.
The Seminoles did a great job in the first half controlling the tempo, but the 2nd half was all Bearcats. They repeatedly were stymied in the first 25 seconds of the shot clock, but then recovered with a great individual effort to score. And with every offensive rebound they kicked it out and ran another 30 seconds off the clock.
But as good as FSU's defense was, Cincinnati's was just a little bit better. Their ball pressure forced 17 FSU turnovers (25.4%), limited the Noles to 35% 3-point shooting, and only allowed 8 offensive boards off of 31 missed shots.
Sean Kilpatrick, the Bearcats best player, made 4-6 threes on his way to 18 points. Luke Loucks led the Noles with 14, while Bernard James (12) and Michael Snaer (11) were the other Seminoles in double figures.
In the end, it was a disappointing end to an otherwise great season. The Seminole seniors leave knowing they've helped bring FSU to a level of national significance.