FSU can’t overcome slow start, turnovers as Seminoles fall to Michigan in NCAA Sweet 16

Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel
·3 min read

Florida State couldn’t overcome a poor shooting performance, multiple miscues and struggles in the paint as the Seminoles saw their run in the NCAA Tournament come to an abrupt end with a 76-58 loss to Michigan in their Sweet 16 matchup Sunday in Indianapolis.

Fourth-seeded FSU (18-7) failed to advance past the regional semifinals for the second time in the past three appearances. Top-seeded Michigan (23-4) moves on to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2018. That season, the Wolverines were the runner-up to Villanova for the national championship.

The Seminoles shot 33% from the floor in the first half, including 0-for-7 from behind the 3-point arc as Michigan built a double-digit lead at intermission.

Malik Osborne finished with a team-high 12 points and six rebounds.

FSU found itself plagued by four trouble with guard Scottie Barnes missing significant minutes after picking up his third and fourth fouls just a minute apart in the second half.

To make matters worse, senior guard M.J. Walker went down after rolling his ankle at the 14:00-minute mark in the second half. He returned a few minutes later before finishing with 10 points and two assists.

Guard Andrew Polite stepped up in the second half, scoring all nine of his points. He also added four rebounds and three steals.

Michigan pushed its lead to a game-high 19 points with 5:16 left in the game.

Both teams came out struggling to shoot the ball with Florida State missing six of its first eight shots while Michigan missed four of its first five attempts.

The Seminoles held a brief lead for the first 2:33 of the game before the Wolverines went on a 15-4 run to take a 19-8 lead. Leonard Hamilton’s team went four minutes without a basket before a dunk by center Balsa Koprivica ended the drought.

Koprivica scored seven points and grabbed two rebounds in the final 10 minutes of the first half for the ‘Noles.

Michigan center Hunter Dickinson came up big down the stretch, scoring three straight baskets on back-to-back-to-back possessions to push the Wolverines’ advantage to 27-16 with 4:45 left in the first half. The 7-1 freshman also had five rebounds and a blocked shot through the first 20 minutes.

Dickinson finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

FSU struggled with sloppy play, turning the ball over 10 times that Michigan converted into 16 easy points.

The Wolverines took a 32-21 lead going into halftime. It was the largest deficit at the half for FSU since the Seminoles were down 16 points to Notre Dame on March 6.

Florida State advanced through the first two rounds because of its stifling defense. The Seminoles held UNC Greensboro and Colorado to a combined 33% shooting from the field, including 25% from the 3-point line.

FSU entered the tournament as one of the best defensive teams in the ACC, holding teams to just 39% from the floor.

Michigan was once again without senior forward Isaiah Livers, who has been out of the lineup since suffering a stress fracture in his right foot that he reaggravated during the Big Ten Tournament. Livers was averaging 13 points and 6.0 rebounds per game this season.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com.