Saturday, March 10, 2012

Florida State Knocks Miami Off and Out

SNAER (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
#17 FLORIDA STATE 82, MIAMI 71 -- The Hurricanes needed a win over a ranked team to have a chance at being invited to the Big Dance.

Playing without leading scorer Durand Scott who was ruled ineligible for one game by the university of receiving impermissible benefits, Miami came up well short. 

Michael Snaer scored 20 points and Ian Miller had 18 to lead Florida State (22-9) into today's semifinals against No. 2 seed Duke.

Malcolm Grant had 19 points and Shane Larkin had 16 for Miami (19-12).

While the Seminoles are hoping to improve their seed in the NCAA tournament, Miami is unsure where it stands with the selection committee and if Scott would be eligible for the tournament.

MILLER (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Florida State fans had a suggestion for Miami, chanting "NIT, NIT" in the final seconds.  Isn’t that sweet?

Florida State is returning to the semifinals after finishing third in the regular season for the third straight year. The Seminoles lost in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament each of the last two years after falling in the 2009 championship game in Atlanta.

Bernard James and Luke Loucks each had 14 points for Florida State.

Miami struggled to score in the first game of the tournament and those struggles continued without Scott. Miami is seeking Scott's reinstatement from the NCAA.

JON KREFT (AP Photo)
Friday it was sophomore Rion Brown who started for Scott and had 13 points.

Miami couldn't get it going in the first half against the Seminoles' man-to-man defense. Miami made only 9 of 32 shots (28.1 percent) in the first 20 minutes. Florida State led 37-26 at halftime after making seven 3-pointers in the half.

Each team relied heavily on 3-pointers, and Miami kept it somewhat close early in the second half with the help of three-pointers by Malcolm Grant, Brown and Larkin.

A three-point play by James gave Florida State a 60-52 lead, but Miami closed the gap to three points on another 3-pointer by Grant, followed by baskets by Brown and Kenny Kadji.

Ian Miller's short jumper ended Miami's run and helped the Seminoles quickly push the lead to 11 points at 70-59.

Game over.

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