Thursday, September 20, 2018
Sports

Xavier hands FSU worst NCAA Tournament loss since 1993

ORLANDO — FSU freshman Jonathan Isaac sat in a corner locker Saturday night at Amway Center, his long arms folded on his knees, still trying to comprehend the finality of his third-seeded Seminoles falling hard in a 91-66 rout at the hands of 11th-seeded Xavier.

"Everything went wrong," Isaac said. "We were just a step behind on all their schemes and their counters. … They did their job, did what they do and we just weren't on it. It's devastating for me. I can't even imagine how it is for guys like (seniors Michael) Ojo and Quez (Smith). This is their last rodeo."

Isaac, too, may have played his last game at FSU as a potential top-five pick in the NBA draft. The same may be true for sophomore guard Dwayne Bacon, a projected lottery pick who had a team-high 20 points but said it's too early to ponder his future.

"We weren't hitting shots and we were slacking on defense," said Bacon, seeing Xavier go 11-for-17 on 3-pointers while the Seminoles went 4-for-21. "Today was crazy, but going forward, we can learn a lot from this game. It stings a lot, but we've been through a lot this year. We had a successful season, but this one hurts because our season is over."

Xavier (23-13) knows that pain well — last year, they went out in the same round as a No. 2 seed, falling to seventh-seeded Wisconsin. Two weeks ago, the Musketeers were mired in a six-game losing streak, battling injuries and inconsistency, but they've pulled off back-to-back upsets to reach the Sweet 16.

"One of the reasons I love this team is that all the way down the line, everybody's tough," said guard J.P. Macura, who had 10 points and five assists. "Everybody loves to win, and we play hard, and we showed that in the past month."

Down 10 with 14 minutes to play, FSU missed three chances to cut Xavier's lead to single digits, then saw the Musketeers go on an 11-0 run, sparked by back-to-back 3-pointers. Xavier's Trevon Bluiett finished with 29 points, giving him 50 in two games in Orlando, including 39 points in the second half of those games.

"I don't think (FSU) played very well, to be quite honest," Xavier coach Chris Mack said. "I think we had a lot to do with that …They didn't play their best, and our guys played really loose and together and followed a game plan. There's a belief within this team that we can play with anybody."

Xavier advances to its fourth Sweet 16 under Mack — they've now done so seeded sixth, 10th, sixth and 11th — and will play in San Jose next weekend against second-seeded Arizona, which rallied past seventh-seeded Saint Mary's.

FSU took its most lopsided tournament loss since another 25-point loss to Kentucky in 1993, and despite its high seed, left with only one Sweet 16 appearance (2011) in 15 seasons under Leonard Hamilton.

     
                             
Comments
Are these guys threatening to turn AL wild card into a race? Just ask the Rays

Are these guys threatening to turn AL wild card into a race? Just ask the Rays

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays still have got a long way to go and a short time to get there if they're gonna do what they say can't be done.If the Smokey and the Bandit paraphrase doesn't work for you, then let's try another theatrical reference....
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning falls to Hurricanes again in preseason

Lightning falls to Hurricanes again in preseason

The Lightning did not fare much better in its second preseason crack at the Hurricanes.In fact, it did worse.It lost 6-1 Wednesday in Raleigh, N.C.Carolina put a much more veteran team on the ice than it did Tuesday in winning Tampa Bay's preseason o...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Jameis Winston’s Uber ride will never be forgotten, and shouldn’t

Jameis Winston’s Uber ride will never be forgotten, and shouldn’t

Just when you thought it was fun to be a Bucs fan again. Just when you were blissfully under the spell of FitzMagic. Just when the Bucs were becoming the cool kids in the NFL with the latest greatest show on turf.Just as the good times have arrived, ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

Buccaneers-Eagles All-22: Why Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fitzmagic could be real

It’s just a mirage.At any moment now, Ryan Fitzpatrick will come crashing back to Earth. He’ll go back to being the Fitzpatrick of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Quarterbacks don’t t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Rangers game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Rangers game

OF Tommy Pham is playing with a sore groin and a sorer right ring finger, but he is determined, in his words, to "salvage" his season, and his two home runs Wednesday give him 19 total, five in 28 games with the Rays since the trade to go with a .327...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Thursday, September 20

TODAYBaseballRays at Blue Jays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMRed Sox at Yankees7 p.m.MLBReds at Marlins7 p.m.FSFCollege footballTulsa at Temple7:30 p.m.ESPNCollege soccerWomen: Texas A&M at Arkansas7 p.m.SECGolfPGA Europe: Portugal Masters6:30 a.m.GolfWeb.com:...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays journal: Austin Meadows among final wave of callups

Rays journal: Austin Meadows among final wave of callups

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays will get their first look at OF Austin Meadows when he joins them Thursday in Toronto as part of the final wave of callups.And based on what RHP Tyler Glasnow, a former Pirates and now Rays teammate, said, they're go...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Second-round pick Gabriel Fortier among Lightning’s early cuts

Second-round pick Gabriel Fortier among Lightning’s early cuts

One round of cuts down, several more to go.The Lightning cut seven players on Wednesday, five of whom were training camp invitees, the team announced. All seven players were assigned to juniors.Gabriel Fortier was the most notable cut. The Lightning'...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Oh, baby! It’s Rays rookie dress up day

Oh, baby! It’s Rays rookie dress up day

Today was rookie dress-up day for the Rays, a long-standing, and recently by rule toned down, tradition among teams to embarrass their first-timers.Masterminded by veteran reliever Sergio Romo the Rays went with a fitting theme for the rookie-laden t...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays keep pressure on, beat Rangers 9-3 for fifth straight win

Rays keep pressure on, beat Rangers 9-3 for fifth straight win

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Rays still have a long way to go, and they are going to need a lot of help to get there.But they continue to do their part to try to make it a race for the final American League playoff spot, beating the Rangers 9-3 Wedne...
Updated: 9 hours ago