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Michigan ends FSU basketball’s season in dominant fashion in Sweet 16

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Wolverines’ light up Seminoles’ defense in second half.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Florida State at Michigan Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State basketball’s season came to an end tonight as they fell to Michigan in the Sweet 16 by a score of 76-58. The ‘Noles were sloppy on both ends of the floor and were put in a bind by foul trouble all night. On the night, there were 32 fouls called. 22 of them were on Florida State. Michigan overwhelmed the Seminoles in the second half, as they went 18-25 from the floor. The Wolverines had 18 more points off turnovers than FSU.


The Seminoles opened the scoring on a RaiQuan Gray floater after an offensive board from RayQuan Evans. Michigan also scored on their first possession, as Franz Wagner knocked down a fade-away jumper. FSU picked up three early fouls, one on each of Anthony Polite, Balsa Koprivica, and Gray. The ‘Noles and Wolverines were all tied up at the first media timeout.

The Wolverines opened up a three-point lead on a Brandon Johns Jr. steal and dunk. Scottie Barnes was aggressive early on, attacking the paint and getting a couple buckets to cut the lead back to one. With the help of FSU’s ineptitude on offense, Michigan went on an 8-0 run. Barnes and Sardaar Calhoun both had turnovers on bad passes. Mike Smith and Chaundee Brown hit back-to-back triples to open a nine-point lead as Leonard Hamilton called his most timeout. The Seminoles’ most costly play of the run was an off-ball foul on Gray, his second foul. He didn’t see the court the last 12:37 of the half.

A put-back lay-up from Austin Davis opened up an 11-point lead, the first double-digit lead of the game. A Koprivica dunk, off a nice pass from M.J. Walker, ended FSU’s scoring drought of over four minutes. Evans followed it with a fast-break lay-up and Barnes continued to attack, getting inside for a dunk over a Michigan defender. FSU’s sloppy handle of the ball kept them from making a big cut into the deficit. The Wolverines led 23-14 at the under-8 TO, as FSU had seven made field goals and nine turnovers.

Just like the last four minute span, another one of FSU’s top players picked up their second foul. Polite was called for a ticky-tack second foul, putting the Wolverines in the bonus with 8:52 left in the half. He didn’t see the court again till the second half. Hunter Dickinson pushed the lead back to double digits, easily backing down Malik Osborbe in the paint. The lead was extended to 13 as Wagner found Dickinson on a pretty feed for a wide open dunk. Michigan led 27-16 at the final media TO of the half.

The Seminoles needed a run over the last four minutes and had chances, but just couldn’t find the bottom of the net enough. Koprivica and Walker both had mid-range jumpers to keep the deficit at 11 going into half. Both teams shot 33% from the floor. UM was 8-11 from the free throw line, while the ‘Noles hit one of two. For the second time in March Madness, Florida State didn’t have a first half three-pointer. They were 0-7 from deep while the Wolverines made two of seven. The biggest difference came in turnovers. FSU had 10 to Michigan’s four. The Wolverines had 12 more points off turnovers than the Seminoles.

Koprivica led the way with seven points on 3-4 shooting. The rest of the ‘Noles were 7-26 from the floor. Gray only played three minutes, while Polite saw nine first half minutes. Gray, Walker, and Polite, three of the team’s top four scorers, combined for six points.

Jones Jr. immediately pushed the lead back to 13 on the first possession, but Polite responded with a pair of free throws, his first points of the day. Walker cut the lead to single digits as he raced past the Michigan defense on a fast-break lay-up. Gray cut the deficit to eight with a tough and-one, as FSU started to insert themselves as a force in the paint. Michigan led 40-30 at the first timeout of the half after a wide-open lay-up from Eli Brooks. Both Gray and Barnes had three fouls with 15:47 minutes remaining.

After a Dickinson free throw, Osborne trimmed the deficit back to eight as he drained Florida State’s first triple. Polite followed with a three-pointer of his own on the next possession to cut the lead to five. Michigan quickly responded on an and-one from Smith. The foul was Walker’s third. Barnes had already picked up his fourth and the Wolverines were in the bonus with over 15 minutes remaining. Back-to-back buckets in the paint from Davis pushed the lead back to 12. Osborne responded with his second triple on the next possession. Michigan led 50-41 at the U-12 media timeout.

The game quickly got pushed to the brink for FSU out of the break. Michigan went on a 7-0 run in just 1:11. Three lay-ups courtesy of Johns Jr., Brown, and Smith pushed the lead to 15 as Hamilton called his second timeout with 9:48 remaining. Michigan made 12 of their first 14 field goals in the half. Barnes ended the run with a banked in lay-up. Back-to-back lay-ups from Wagner made it a 17-point difference at the U-8 TO.

Osborne hit his third three of the half to cut the lead to 16, but FSU had zero answers on the defensive end. Chaundee Brown responded with a triple of his own to push the Michigan lead to 19. Osborne hit a fourth triple, but Michigan got everything they want on the offensive end. An and-one from Dickinson put the Wolverines up 73-51 at the last media timeout. At that point, Michigan was 17-23 from the floor in the half. The Green Team Vipers came into the game with 1:30 remaining, as MJ Walker checked out of the game as a Seminole for the last time.

Michigan shot 49% from the floor for the game, but shot a scorching 69.2% in the second half alone. The Seminoles were 40% from the floor and 5-20 from deep. The Wolverines had 18 more points off turnovers than FSU. They also dominated Florida State down low with 50 of 76 points coming from in the paint. Michigan also out-rebounded FSU by six.

Malik Osborne led the way for FSU with 12 points on four triples. He also grabbed six boards. Walker had 10 points in his last game as a Seminole.

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