Florida State inexplicably declines to foul late in game

Harry How  Getty Images

Down 58-54 to MI with 11 seconds left Saturday in the Elite Eight matchup, Leonard Hamilton's Seminoles elected not to foul, conceding a game that was nearly certainly decided (if not completely decided).

For a team that needed game-winning jumpers in the final 10 seconds in the first three rounds of the tournament, Kansas State was the lowest seeded team that the Ramblers played in the tournament.

Florida State's relentless defense forced seven turnovers in the first 16:04.

For the duration of the game's final minute, Florida State played like it had no idea how much time was on the clock. But some odd calls and missed free throws, allowed Florida State to get back into it. And suddenly the Wolverines were ahead 38-28.

On Sunday afternoon, Florida State's Leonard Hamilton explained why he had been unwilling to answer a simple question from CBS's Dana Jacobson, behavior that brought criticism and focused attention on the harsh spotlight of a turnaround interview. However, Florida State made a point not to give the Wolverines a good look all night and it showed in their shooting percentage.

Not on this night as all that defense just kept it close with MI leading one, 27-26, at intermission.

Who's going to take it home in the second half? Yet Michigan could only manage one field goal of its own in the last 8:44 before halftime, also missing four free throws.

That added to the lead and when Duncan Robinson buried a corner three, his first triple of the night, the Wolverines were up 10 again.

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Savoy trimmed the Wolverines' lead to 55-52 on a 3-pointer with 1:17 to play.

The victor of this game moves on to the Final Four, where it'll play Loyola-Chicago.

Staples Center was largely packed with maize-and-blue fans of the Wolverines, who have a vast alumni base in California.

The Seminoles were trailing 58-54 and missed a three-point attempt with a dozen or so seconds remaining in the game. The Wolverines were able to say ahead with junior center Moe Wagner and sophomore point guard Zavier Simpson on the bench for several minutes with a foul each.

Hamilton: "You think that the game came down to the final seconds of the game?"

But at the half, it was MI, 27-26. In 1963, Loyola won the national championship, a landmark occasion because the team started four black players.

MI coach John Beilein, right, talks with Moritz Wagner, left, and Isaiah Livers during the first half of the team's NCAA men's college basketball tournament regional final against Florida State on Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Los Angeles. "Loyola's going to sell every ticket they can get". That cut it to five at 6:43 after two FSU free throws. Meanwhile, the Michigan Wolverines have moved into the national semifinals for the second time in six seasons.

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