After jumping around on the court and hugging, the jubilant Seminoles ran over to their fans in the stands and slapped high-fives.
Even in a two-possession game, a technical foul would have given the Musketeers hope. With the Seminoles up three with 21.8 seconds to go, rather than go for a quick two and then potentially foul with a chance that perhaps a free throw would get missed, Xavier took its time and then ended up with a three point attempt that missed badly.
Delay/Penalty. (Rule 4-10.2). When a second warning for a delay is given for a delay which is different from the first delay, a technical foul shall be assessed for any further delays. In the end, experience is the trump card and that pushes Gonzaga to the Elite Eight again.
In the final game of the day on Thursday - the NCAA Tournament will see the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Florida State Seminoles mix it up in a Sweet 16 battle.
The Bulldogs enter with a 32-4 record, while the Seminoles own a 22-11 record.
FSU basketball had a lot of doubters going into the game against No. 1 seed Xavier Sunday night. One year ago in the very same round and region, 11-seed Xavier would rout the Seminoles (91-66). "Just because maybe they might not be in one particular conference or maybe they're not considered to be one of the more traditional rich schools, people are playing basketball". Sophomore guard Nausia Woolfolk added 12 points and senior guard AJ Alix had 11 as Florida State shot just 33.8 percent from the field, including 3 of 25 from 3-point range. It was Florid State's first lead since the 2:07 mark of the first half, and proved to be the game-winner. Mfiondu Kabengele scored his second consecutive bucket, tying it up at 68 with 2:32 to go. Florida State has to be better at the free throw line than the 68.5 percent they are hitting this season.
Xavier extended its lead to 12 points on two occasions as FSU tried to cut the deficit until the contest turned in the Seminoles' favor.
Without their senior leader in Macura, Xavier committed four turnovers down the stretch.
The top scorer for the Bulldogs this season has been Johnathan Williams.
Instead - after a heartbreaking title-game loss to Villanova in 2016 followed by last year's title win against Gonzaga - the Tar Heels found themselves eliminated on the tournament's opening weekend for the first time since 2014. But expectations grew that they could make a third straight Final Four run as UNC found a final-month groove, including two wins against Duke and a trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championship game.
Gonzaga ranks 14th in rebounds per game (39.8) while Florida State ranks 160th in rebounds allowed per game (34.9).