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Virginia deals blow to FSU's NCAA hopes

GREENSBORO, N.C. — All Florida State can do now is wait and hope.

The Seminoles could have given their NCAA Tournament resume a boost by knocking off No. 6 Virginia in the ACC quarterfinals Friday. Instead, they fell 64-51 to set up a long weekend.

"Our record speaks for us to be on the bubble, but I think we're a great team," FSU forward Okaro White said. "I think we're a team that's up to the level of a lot of the teams that are going to be in the NCAA Tournament."

White scored 17, Aaron Thomas 13 and Ian Miller 10 for the ninth-seeded Seminoles (19-13).

They shot 43 percent against one of the nation's best defenses but couldn't keep the patient Cavaliers off the boards when it counted and were denied their third victory over a top-seeded team since 2009.

"In order to guard this type of system, you can't take any possessions off defensively," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "I just think that we look for some spots to catch a breather. And each time we did that, I thought that it cost us."

Joe Harris matched a season high with 20 points and Anthony Gill added 16 for the Cavaliers, (26-6), who reached the semifinals for the first time since 1995.

They shot 48 percent, forced 15 turnovers and earned their third double-digit victory over the Semi­noles this season.

"We really just wanted to go out there and prove to everybody that we deserve to be here," Gill said. "We deserve the No. 1 seed."

Virginia had a 31-25 rebounding advantage — 21-13 in the second half — and finished with 17 second-chance points.

"We talk about outlasting people all the time," Cavs guard London Perrantes said. "We know that nobody's going to want to guard us 35 seconds every time down the court. So we know that if we keep running our offense, they're going to get frustrated and we're going to get good shots."

Virginia led for all but about eight minutes and was in control throughout even if it took a while for the scoreboard to reflect that.

It led 32-27 at halftime. Darion Atkins' jumper with 9:51 left and his two free throws 1:16 later put the Cavaliers up 52-37. White, a Clearwater High graduate, pulled FSU to 61-49 with his jumper while being fouled with 3:25 left. But he missed the free throw, and the Seminoles didn't hit another field goal.

"It's very hard to come back on a team like Virginia when they're coming down and using 30 seconds of the shot clock," White said.

"You can't get down on them."

Virginia deals blow to FSU's NCAA hopes 03/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 14, 2014 11:25pm]

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