Elite Eight: No. 9 Florida State squares off with No. 3 MI

Elite Eight: No. 9 Florida State squares off with No. 3 MI

Florida State opened its tournament run with a 67-54 win over Missouri, and then came back from down 12 with fewer than 11 minutes left to top 1-seed Xavier 75-70. Coming off a massive upset over the tournament's No. 1 seed, Florida State knows they have what it takes to get the job done.

No. 9 seed Florida State - which limped into the tournament losing three of its last four games - was celebrating its first trip to the Elite 8 in 25 years, while No. 4 seed Gonzaga - a team that was in the National Championship game just last year - walked dejectedly off the court. Pick them to lose their first game. Between 7-4 Christ Koumadje, 7-0 Ike Obiagu and a slew of 6-7 forwards, the Seminoles overwhelmed the Bulldogs with their length.

"We feel that we can compete a lot better if we have more guys to share the load where we don't put all that responsibility on one or two particular players", he said. "Our team, when adversity hit, we stayed together as a team".

After finishing the ACC regular season 9-9, the Seminoles have seen their share of scraps.

Florida State entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 9 seed.

"When you're in the middle of it you never really know if you're surprised", said Donny Daniels, the assistant coach who was Cal State Fullerton's head coach. "We have a great relationship with our players". We have our ups and downs and everything is not always ideal, but I'm so proud of these guys. Their defense has been sharp in this tournament, and they are allowing an average of 73.3 points, placing them 199th overall. Gonzaga had not faced a team like Florida State yet this season and it showed.

Gregarious and confident, Norvell has provided the fire the low-key Zags have needed and has them in position to make another Final Four run. And Florida State's offense has been mostly fine.

But unlike a November meeting when Gonzaga rolled to a 27-point win, Ohio State made a second-half charge.

With the shot clock running down and Loyola clinging to a 1-point lead, Marques Townes knocked down a 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds remaining.

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Tillie said he injured his hip during practice Tuesday and didn't respond to treatment in time to play.

Rui Hachimura scored 16 points and Zach Norvell Jr. added 14 for the Zags (32-5), who hadn't lost since January 18.

Following a 4-4 tie, Nevada took the lead with an 8-0 run that included a layup and two free throws by Jordan Caroline.

To counter the Seminoles' imposing front line, the Bulldogs will have to avoid the foul problems that plagued them against Ohio State.

Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura moves against UNC-Greensboro during the second half of an NCAA college basketball tournament first-round game, Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Boise, Idaho.

The Zags bring a 16-game winning streak - the nation's best - into Staples Center and are the only team in the country to be appearing in a fourth straight Sweet 16.

"We're just getting more and more comfortable when adversity hits", Perkins said.

In March, things don't always go as planned.

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