Sunday, February 25, 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
Elkanah Kibet wins the men’s Gasparilla half-marathon

Elkanah Kibet wins the men’s Gasparilla half-marathon

TAMPA — A week ago, Elkanah Kibet felt his calf tighten while training for the Publix Gasparilla Classic half-marathon. At first, Kibet tried to ignore the injury, hoping the pain would away.Instead, it became sorer.Kibet, 32, had massages, eve...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Meet the aptly named Friend of Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend

Meet the aptly named Friend of Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend

TAMPA — Runners in the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic know The Voice. Year after year, it comes back to them like home. They hear her before they see her as they head up or back on Bayshore Boulevard. The Voice makes them feel part of somet...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sara Hall sets course record in women’s Gasparilla half-marathon

Sara Hall sets course record in women’s Gasparilla half-marathon

TAMPA — Stephanie Bruce returned Sunday to defend her title at the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic half-marathon. She ran a blistering pace, shaving 50 seconds off her time from last year to finish well under the course record.Still, it was ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Gasparilla Distance Classic: A day (or two) at the races

Gasparilla Distance Classic: A day (or two) at the races

Meet the various people who take in the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic race weekend, whether on the sidelines or pounding the pavement.Woman's best friendAt about the one hour, 45-minute mark of Saturday's 15K, an Australian shepherd wearing a se...
Updated: 1 hour ago
On what Odorizzi has to feel good and bad about after trade from Rays to Twins

On what Odorizzi has to feel good and bad about after trade from Rays to Twins

Two things were pretty clear in talking to RHP Jake Odorizzi this morning in Fort Myers about being traded from the Rays to Twins.He couldn't be much happier than to be a new that that has legitimate playoff aspirations, and that he feels for those h...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Any deadline move won’t be cure-all for Lightning

Any deadline move won’t be cure-all for Lightning

The Lightning could very well add another defenseman by Monday's trade deadline, whether it's the bigger fish like Erik Karlsson or Ryan McDonagh, or depth piece like Mike Green.But, either way, one addition won't automatically cure some of the team-...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

For starters, Rays at Twins, with Venters making first spring outing since 2013

As the Rays head back to Fort Myers today for a game on the other side of I-75 to take on the Twins at 1:05, there are several spring debuts worth noting:First, that LHP Jonny Venters, trying to make it back to the majors for the first time since 201...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

Ex-Rays prospect Andrew Toles working his way back from knee surgery for Dodgers

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Andrew Toles made a two-base error and went 0-for-3, and his team lost. All told, it was still a pretty good day for the Dodgers left fielder.In his first game since a serious knee injury last May, the former Rays prospect ret...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Florida boosts NCAA resume by beating No. 12 Auburn 72-66

Florida boosts NCAA resume by beating No. 12 Auburn 72-66

GAINESVILLE — KeVaughn Allen finally got the message. It took a scoreless game and long chats with coach Mike White and two teammates to sink in.Allen bounced back from his worst game in more than three years with 24 points, including a 60-foot...
Published: 02/24/18
Updated: 02/25/18
Winter Olympics: Sunday’s viewing schedule

Winter Olympics: Sunday’s viewing schedule

TV Sunday5 a.m.–7 p.m. NBCSNHockey (M) — Gold-medal game, athletes from Russia vs. Germany (replay)1968 — A 90-minute documentary, narrated by four-time gold medalist and 23-time Grand Slam singles tennis champion Serena Willia...
Published: 02/24/18