The famed havoc style of play employed by Shaka Smart and VCU certainly caused FSU problems early. And it caused problems late. But in between, FSU dominated. The teams battled to a standstill for the first eight minutes, and then FSU took over.
Unfortunately, ESPN was having trouble with their feed, so the game kept cutting in and out. Through a lot of cursing on my part, the Noles managed to build a 12-point lead at half behind 15 first half points from Ian Miller.
What happened next is the stuff of legends. But of course no one saw it. ESPN's feed went out completely and the game disappeared. Thanks to GoNolz and his radio we were able to at least track the score, but when the video returned FSU was up by 25. I'm guessing good things happened in that span. FSU bounced around. They did things.
The 2nd half was total domination, as FSU built a 30-point lead with 4:50 to go. Over half of FSU's 2s were dunks. This, on the No. 10 team in the nation. My favorite quote during that run was when announcer Dan Dakich was calling for a timeout. "I promise you VCU fans have never seen this," he said. "I promise you that they've never seen their team exhausted."
VCU finished the game on a 12-0 run to at least make the score somewhat respectable.
Ian Miller finished with his 3rd straight career high, scoring 22 points and adding 7 boards and 4 assists. Devon Bookert struggled with VCU's press, but still scored 18 points. Montay Brandon had a double double with 14 points and 11 boards, while Okaro White added 14 and 9.
Now the Noles advance in the winner's bracket and face No. 14 Michigan tomorrow. The game will tip 5pm on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.