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FSU knocks off VT to advance to ACC Tournament semifinals

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The ‘Noles use a big 2nd half to advance

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Florida State Seminoles vs Virginia Tech Hokies Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

There were times early in the season where a predictable pattern played out. FSU and their opponent would battle head-to-head for 30 minutes, and then - regardless of the score - the other teams would seem to lose their legs as FSU’s waves of substitutions wore them down. The ‘Noles had to adapt in ACC play as other teams were more adept at slowing the games down, but tonight, at least for a while, it looked like the old pattern was back.

Trailing 52-50 with 11 minutes left, the ‘Noles ripped off an 18-1 run and appeared to have the game firmly under control.

But the Hokies didn’t play along with the script. They answered with a 10-0 run of their own, and suddenly the game was down to five with less than a minute left.

Luckily there was no real drama as FSU made 4-5 FTs down the stretch to win 74-68.

FSU was able to advance despite a miserable shooting night. They knocked down just 3-16 3s. They were able to mitigate the poor shooting by grabbing 38% of their own misses compared to just 14% for VT. The Seminoles also made an impressive 19-23 free throws (83%).

Dwayne Bacon played the first half with his wrist taped, and played poorly on both ends. In the 2nd the tape was gone, and his attitude was back. He played an excellent half of basketball, finishing the night with 17 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. Terance Mann had 11 points and nine boards (six offensive), while Jonathan Isaac had 11 points and 12 boards (five offensive). Xavier Rathan-Mayes had nine points and six assists.

Florida State is now 25-7, and the win locks up a protected seed in the NCAA Tournament so the team will be opening in Orlando.

For now, though, there’s more work to do in Brooklyn. FSU gets the winner of tonight’s Notre Dame/Virginia game. FSU will play tomorrow night at 9 PM.