4-seed Florida State advanced to the round of 32 on Thursday afternoon, dominating the 13-seed Vermont Catamounts in every phase of the game, save one: UVM cashed in from beyond the arc, sinking 16-32 triples in falling 76-69 to the Seminoles.
Does that seem like a lofty total? Because it is. In fact, it’s history— on the right side of which FSU finds itself.
Vermont hit 16 threes, but still fell to Florida State.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 21, 2019
It's tied for the 3rd-most threes in an NCAA tournament loss since the line was introduced in 1987. Only West Virginia (18 in 2005 Elite Eight) and Loyola Marymount (17 in 1990 Elite Eight) have made more in a loss. pic.twitter.com/EBk9966XPo
That’s right: since the inception of the three-point shot in 1987, only two teams have overcome more threes than Vermont made to win. In 1990, Loyola-Marymount put up 17 treys vs. UNLV in the Elite Eight, but the Runnin’ Rebs still went on to capture the national title. And Louisville overcame West Virginia’s 18 bombs in 2005, which advanced the Cardinals to the Final Four.
But don’t call the Seminoles lucky. Just as with the two victors mentioned above, the ’Noles were the better team, and that showed in pretty much every other line on the scoresheet. Florida State won the turnover battle, 16-7, and points off turnovers, 17-5. FSU grabbed 12 offensive rebounds to 7 for the Catamounts, turning them into a 16-8 advantage in second-chance points, while winning the overall rebounding battle 39-33. Bench points: 30-7, Seminoles, who also outscored UVM 30-14 in the paint. The ’Noles had 9 steals to just 2 for the Cats, and at the free-throw line, where the win was ultimately salted away for Florida State, FSU made 31-37 (84%), while Vermont hit just 7-13 (54%).
So let’s not say that Florida State “escaped” from Vermont, okay? Tip your cap to UVM for its effective sniping, but the Cats came in shooting 35% from distance, so this was an aberration— one that kept them in the game when every other facet of the matchup would have resulted in an annihilation in front of a de facto home crowd.