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LIVE UPDATES: Seminoles take down Buffaloes, set for Sweet Sixteen matchup against Michigan

Florida State guard Anthony Polite (2) celebrates a three pointer during the second half of a...
Florida State guard Anthony Polite (2) celebrates a three pointer during the second half of a second-round game against Colorado in the NCAA college basketball tournament at Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Monday, March 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)(Charles Rex Arbogast | Associated Press)
Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 10:52 AM CDT
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WCTV) - After notching a 10-point win on Saturday over UNC Greensboro, the Florida State Seminoles now turn their attention to the Colorado Buffaloes for a matchup to determine who will head to this weekend’s Sweet Sixteen.

Despite not shooting a three-pointer in their 10-point win, the Seminoles were able to work inside against the Spartans defense effectively, outscoring UNCG in the paint, 44-16, and held the Spartans to three scoreless stretches of at least four minutes (twice keeping them scoreless for over six minutes).

FSU will need a similar lockdown defensive approach against a Buffs team who not only scored 32 points in the paint in a first-round victory over Georgetown but also shot 64% from beyond the arc, making 16 and setting a Pac-12 record for most made threes in an NCAA Tournament game in the process.

Colorado also mirrors the Seminoles in their depth: Nine Buffaloes logged at least 10 minutes of game time in the 23-point win over the Hoyas and five logged at least 20 minutes, with another logging 19.

For comparison’s sake, the Seminoles played 10 players Saturday; all but one, Wyatt Wilkes, saw at least 10 minutes, and seven saw 14 or more minutes.

A third-straight Sweet Sixteen trip is on the line for the Noles, who need to get back to their shooting ways or clamp down on their perimeter defense in order to make that a reality.

If Sunday’s games were any indication, we should be in for a game that’ll come down to the wire.

Below will be a running live blog of tonight’s game between the Noles and Buffaloes: We’ll have some game updates, analysis and running thoughts throughout the day. For up-to-the-minute updates, be sure you’re following myself and WCTV Sports on Twitter. Our Sports Director Ryan Kelly and Will Desautelle will also be active on Twitter during the game and will have you covered as well.

Tip-off is set for 7:45 p.m. and TBS will have the broadcast.

FINAL: FLORIDA STATE 71 - COLORADO 53

The Anthony Polite game, this one will come to be known. The Seminoles take down the Buffaloes and are now on to their third-straight Sweet Sixteen, where they’ll take on Michigan, who took down FSU in the Elite Eight in 2018 with a four-point win.

Our recap can be found here. We’ll see you on Sunday!

2nd Half, 3:28: FSU 61-47

FSU is on a roll, and you can thank that Calhoun dunk for it. It’s a 25-12 run for the Noles and this one is starting to feel in hand.

Balsa has fouled out, logging just 11 minutes tonight.

2nd Half, 7:55: FSU 47-38

Just what the doctor ordered for Florida State: Balsa Koprivica has entered the game and is beginning to be disruptive, most recently completing a three-point play to give the Noles the biggest lead, for either side, of the night at nine points.

Sardaar Calhoun put the Noles on this little mini-run with back-to-back buckets, one of which was this beauty.

FSU has scored via dunks 12 times this tournament, the most of any team. I humbly suggest “The Renegades of Dunk” for as long as this tourney run goes for the Tribe.

2nd Half, 11:35: FSU 36-35

Anthony Polite is starting to feel himself, scoring six-straight buckets for the Noles. Unfortunately for him, and everyone else in garnet and/or gold, Colorado is also starting to feel themselves, putting together a modest 8-2 run to come within a point of the Noles. The Buffs have hit their last three buckets and have hit five of their last seven overall.

Both teams are shooting 29% from deep (4-for-14) and both teams have made 14 field goals in total.

2nd Half, 15:58: FSU 28-25

FSU scored the first four points of the half but are currently on a 3:52 field goal-less streak. They’re continuing to struggle to get the ball inside and are having to either force a mid-range or settle for a mid-range. It’s...not working well.

As the Noles are struggling on the offensive end, their stingy defense is turning into whistles: After not shooting a free throw in the first half, the Buffs have taken two trips to the stripe so far (3-for-4). If the Noles are going to win tonight, keeping CU off the free-throw line is priority number one.

We also have #BigManFoulWatch.

However, on the flip side, the Buffs also have a pair of key guys in foul trouble - Battey and Wright, each with three.

HALFTIME: FLORIDA STATE 24 - COLORADO 20

That...was a half of basketball.

FSU came away from their last possession of the half without points, which turned into a fast-break for the Buffs who got a tip-in just as the buzzer sounded to pull within four at the half.

Your halftime numbers.

1st Half, 3:35: FSU 17-13

At the final media timeout of the first half, FSU leads Colorado by four. The Seminoles held the Buffaloes scoreless for 7:03, which saw 11 scoreless trips down the court for the CU offense.

Unfortunately, FSU continues to struggle to get quality looks at the basket. In fact, after dominating UNCG in the paint on Saturday, the points in the paint stat is tied 6-6 with less than four minutes to play until halftime.

1st Half, 7:34: FSU 13-11

The good news is that Florida State has been tremendous on the defensive end of the floor: Colorado is just 5-for-17 from the floor and is 1-for-5 from three and the Noles have yet to put anyone in a black shirt on the charity stripe.

It feels like FSU could be heating up offensively, having gotten a couple of inside shots to fall, but a couple of more shots are going to have to fall before I declare that the offense has joined the game.

Shoutout to Anthony Polite - So far, he has eight points (team-best), is 3-5 (2-4 from three), two rebounds and two steals, all in eight minutes. Everyone of those numbers, with the exception of minutes played, leads the team.

1st Half, 10:51: Colorado 11-9

It’s not a pretty picture so let’s get the run tracker out of the way:

  • Colorado is on a 6-0 run over the last 2:36. This run was immediately preceded by a four-minute scoreless drought.
  • FSU has committed four turnovers in the last 4:04, of which they’ve yet to score, and five in the last 5:23

Speaking of that 4:04 time span, FSU is having one heck of a time moving the ball inside. Three passes have either slipped through the hands, off the hands, or just out of the reach of either Malik Osbourne (twice) or Tanor Ngom. There’s been very little driving inside the paint, which to be fair, the looks for the Noles’ bigs have been there, just the passes aren’t being complete.

FSU has gone from shooting 50% from the floor to 38%. They’ve yet to score not via a three-pointer.

Balsa has two fouls (the only two fouls of the half so far for the Noles).

1st Half, 15:44: FSU 6-5

After going a full 40 minutes without hitting a three, Anthony Polite connects on his first three attempt of the game and has two at the under-16 timeout.

The early going has been back and forth, but not a ton of action. FSU has been living around the perimeter; RaiQuan Gray got rejected as he drove to the rim for a dunk, but that’s all the Noles have really attempted to work inside.

In fact, FSU is 2-4 from three and 2-5 overall from the floor.

Lineups

We have ourselves some starting fives!

Seminoles: RayQuan Evans (G), Anthony Polite (G), M.J. Walker (G), RaiQuan Gray (F), Balsa Koprivica (C)

Colorado: D’Shawn Schwartz (G), Eli Parquet (G), McKinley Wright (G), Evan Battey (F), Dallas Walton (C)

Pregame

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you had a great rest of your Saturday, Sunday and beginning of your Monday as we are set to see if the Noles can clinch a spot in a third-straight Sweet Sixteen.

If you missed it on Eyewitness News at 6, I ran down the on-paper numbers of this one. Check it out, if you’re itching to crunch some numbers.

Above I said how if yesterday was any indication, we should be in for another great day. That...hasn’t exactly worked out. We’ve yet to have a game within 15 points. I have a suspicion this game will be one of, if not the, closest of the day, but that remains to be seen.

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