Florida State is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2011, and needed a comeback to get there.
Trailing 61-50 with less than 9 minutes remaining, the ninth-seeded Seminoles turned the tables and knocked off No. 1 seed Xavier 75-70 in Nashville, Tenn., on Sunday. The win puts them in the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in program history.
Florida State slowly chipped away at Xavier’s lead, eventually tying the game at 68 with 2:21 left on a layup by Mfiondu Kabengele. After a pair of free throws by Paul Scruggs put the Musketeers up 70-68, PJ Savoy’s 3-pointer with 72 seconds remaining gave the Seminoles the lead for good as they ended the game on a 7-0 run.
Five players scored in double figures for the Seminoles, led by Braian Angola’s 16 points. Florida State forced Xavier to turn the ball over 18 times, with several coming in the game’s closing moments.
Xavier’s loss was the second time a No. 1 seed has fallen this tournament. Virginia fell to UMBC in the first round on Friday, the first time a No. 16 seed has defeated a No. 1 seed.
With the win, Florida State draws No. 4 seed Gonzaga in the West Region semifinals on Thursday at Staples Center in Los Angeles. A win will put it in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1993.