With two minutes left in the game, and FSU down eight, Coach Hamilton told them to start fouling. On the first try, Zavier Simpson missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and then Michigan inexplicably fouled PJ Savoy in the act of shooting a three. He made all three to cut the lead to five. Then Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman made one of two, and on the other end PJ Savoy drained a 3-pointer to cut it to three. After Abdur-Rahkman missed the front end on the next possession, FSU worked to get a great look for PJ Savoy. But the tying 3-pointer was a hair long, and Michigan was able to close out the game, 58-54.
With FSU facing an elite defense, the glimmer of hope would be that the ‘Noles transition offense would be enough to get them over the hump. But Michigan’s transition defense took FSU out of their element all night. Couple that with 14 first half turnovers, and it seemed like Florida State should be down double digits.
But instead, they were only down one. The defense which came out of nowhere to make a big run in the Dance was legit, it turns out. They repeatedly forced Michigan’s offense - No. 2 of 351 team in taking care of the ball - into turnovers of their own. Couple that with FSU pressuring shots, and the Seminoles were still in the game.
In the 2nd half, FSU came out and immediately got four good looks in the first five possessions. Unfortunately, they only converted one. And that’s when Michigan made their run.
The Wolverines stretched a one-point lead to ten, and it looked like the season might be over.
But FSU continued their tourney resilience, and kept clawing their way back into it. The Wolverines defense, though, was just too much. Only one of their past 12 opponents have scored more than a point per possession, and it was easy to see why tonight.
Florida State would make a run, and Michigan would shut it down. Florida State would make a run, and Michigan would shut it down. With two minutes left, the ‘Noles made their best run of the half, but it wasn’t enough.
The season ended in the Elite Eight, falling 58-54 to 3-seed Michigan.
In what was possibly Phil Cofer’s final game, he finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and was clearly the matchup that the Wolverines had the most problems with. PJ Savoy scored 12, but was only able to convert on 3-11 3s. Trent Forrest had seven points and five rebounds, and Braian Angola scored six.
Florida State finishes the season 23-12. They’ll definitely lose Angola, but have applied for a medical exemption for Cofer.