Florida State routs Missouri, advances in NCAA Tournament

18 March, 2018, 02:13 | Author: Homer Porter
  • Mizzou Ready for Return to NCAA Tournament

The 2018 NCAA Tournament's second round is set - well, nearly (that Missouri-Florida State game isn't quite over yet).

But the 18-year-old boy that fans and National Basketball Association executives fawned over since he dunked from a step inside the free throw line as a high school sophomore couldn't save his team from itself. That's right, Michael Porter Jr., ready to give it all to prove he can still play in college AND in the National Basketball Association.

It made no difference how badly he or any of the eight healthy, eligible players in Missouri's huddle wanted this one. As a team, Missouri is scoring 73.3 points per game on 45.3% shooting from the field, 38.5% from behind the arc and 73.6% from the foul line this season. However, Porter Jr. looked exhausted, too slow for the game, and even unmotivated at times. The Tigers will likely add another point guard, with Geist now the only one on the roster, and St. Louis floor general Courtney Ramey has a good chance to take that spot.

Missouri (20-13), however, was on the other end of a bounce-back, when, after taking a 7-1 lead, it gave up an 11-0 run that set the tone for Florida State's dominant first half.

"I think one of the key things was the second group coming in and keeping the same energy as the first group", Cofer said. We messed up this game. "Get my game better and be a better team next year".

Florida State will now play No. 1 seed Xavier at 8:40 p.m. ET on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.

After the game, cheering from the Seminoles' locker room echoed down the hall toward Missouri's, and inside the Tigers' locker room, players quietly sat and answered questions about the game and the season and what it all meant.

On the perimeter, he'd often be in the same three-foot area as Robertson or Jordan Geist. "We have to be better at whom we are than the team we're playing against".

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"I'm just hurting for the team", he said. "Not a lot can usually get to me", he said. In fact, he said that his son wants to make a decision, but "we're holding him back".

"We were just playing hard", Porter said. Florida State followed with a 11-0 run. Nicole Ekhomo and Chatrice White each finished with 13 points.

PJ Savoy had 12 points and Phil Cofer scored 11 to pace FSU.

Nevada (28-7) erased a 14-point, second-half deficit and tied it at 68 when Jordan Caroline hit one of two free throws with 3.8 seconds left in regulation. Florida State went into intermission up 42-20, and all 10 Seminoles who played scored.

As reporters took turns asking Porter about his health, his season and ultimately his legacy, he stumbled and stuttered trying to come up with the words, until he ultimately found the right ones.

TURNING POINT: Porter Jr. fouling Cofer on a 3-pointer attempt with 9:29 to go. In Friday's game against Florida State, it may be much of the same. But his mistake seemed to take the life out of he and the rest of the Tigers. "It wasn't enough", senior guard Kassius Robertson said. He thinks they'll make a run next year.

CAUSE FOR CONCERN: If the Porter Bros. don't return, Missouri is likely in for a rebuilding year next season.

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