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Florida State knocks off Xavier 75-70 to reach Sweet 16

At the under-eight media timeout on Sunday night in Nashville, Xavier was in control of the game. It held a nine-point lead and the momentum over No. 9 seed Florida State in the second round of the NCAA tournament, and seemed poised to advance to the Sweet 16.

By the end of the game, it was a very different story.

Florida State rallied back from a 12-point deficit in the final 10 minutes to knock off Xavier 75-70 on Sunday night and earn its first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2011.

Xavier didn’t have much trouble with the Seminoles ahead of their final run. With 8:40 left in the game, Xavier forward Tyrique Jones cleaned up a missed Trevon Bluiett bucket, slamming down the dunk to give the Musketeers an 11-point lead entering the final stretch.


Though the Seminoles weren’t out of it. Florida State cranked out a 7-0 run to bring it back within just two points ahead of the final media timeout. Then, just after Xavier star J.P. Macura had fouled out, P.J. Savoy hit a clutch transition 3-pointer to give Florida State its first lead of the second half.


Savoy then extended that to a three-point lead, hitting a pair of free throws after stealing the ball and drawing the foul.

With 21.6 seconds left in the game, Xavier then walked the ball up the court, looking for a final shot. But with seven seconds left Kerem Kanter air-balled an open 3-point look — only Xavier’s field goal attempt in the final five minutes — giving the ball back to Florida State.

The Seminoles hit their final two free throws after a Xavier intentional foul, and then intercepted a deep inbounds pass — Xavier’s sixth turnover since the five-minute mark in the second half — to complete the five-point upset win.


The Seminoles will take on Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 in Los Angeles on Thursday.

More NCAA tournament coverage from Yahoo Sports:
Nevada stuns Cincy with comeback better than Pats over Falcons
Jim Boeheim uses controversial tactic to outcoach Tom Izzo and clinch upset
Michigan player stops celebrating to console heartbroken opponent
UMBC gets a special gift from Steph Curry before Kansas State game