The key to beating Xavier is to force them into being a jump shooting team, and then hope nothing funny happens. Florida State’s defense did a miserable job allowing layups in the early going, over-playing everything getting killed by the Musketeers use of misdirection.
With FSU down 10 early, Coach Hamilton went to a zone defense, and FSU settled in. They were able to make a couple runs to cut the lead to four, but in the end, they just couldn’t get enough stops.
Xavier, a bad 3-point shooting team, made five of their first six 3s to take a 10-point lead into the break.
Hopes of that regressing to the mean were quickly dashed in the 2nd half, and it was clear that Xavier just wasn’t going to miss many shots.
Any hopes for Florida State rested on getting hot from three, and it never happened. Once FSU fell too far behind, the second half just steamrolled.
Xavier made a season high 69% from behind the arc, while FSU made just 19%.
In the end it was Xavier 91, FSU 66.
Dwayne Bacon, who most likely finished his FSU career, had 20 points. Jonathan Isaac, who will be a lottery pick in this year’s draft, had eight points and 12 rebounds. Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 16 points, and PJ Savoy finished with 10.
An otherwise fantastic season which saw Florida State exceed all reasonable expectations for the first 34 games, will leave a sour taste for fans due to the 35th game. But that’s life in the NCAA Tournament. FSU is already the 5th ACC team to be knocked out.