Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

College basketball: FGCU trails Florida State by four at half

College basketball: FGCU trails Florida State by four at half

Thursday's game will be played in Orlando. Not this night. Not this team.

"They're a great team", Bacon said of the Musketeers. "The fact we were the 3 seed showed the NCAA looked at the quality of what we were able to accomplish", he said. For the 26th time this season.

"(Bacon) has been our go-to guy all year", Hamilton said.

Notable: Williams didn't play in Middle Tennessee's NCAA Tournament run a year ago because he was sitting out the season after transferring from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "They're really fast. They've got great guards".

"But we're the second-place team in the ACC". "We've got to get prepared". "And our theme tonight was pride and urgency".

Dwayne Bacon started sizzling from the field, beginning the game hitting 8 of his first 10 shots.

On the other hand, FSU limped into the tournament.

Well, yeah, that didn't happen.

This rendition of Dunk City was a little less reliant on rim-rattlers and a little more prone to shoot from three, though.

But the Seminoles, who shot 55.6 percent from the field, made nine of 14 free throws down the stretch to ice it.

Before NCAA Tournament pairings were completely revealed, CBS commentator Seth Davis was all but guaranteeing that East Tennessee State will, if allowed, bust brackets.

Florida State has struggled to make the Big Dance with regularity under longtime coach Leonard Hamilton. "I thought at the beginning of the game everybody had that kind of nervous exhaustion, so to speak. We had two or three [threes] that didn't go down that could have changed the complexion of the game". After two or three possessions down the court it was like they were stepping in mud. "I love winning. To win on this stage would just be another - just part of my dream, just more to my dream". "Disappointing, but hopefully something that we can build on here going forward".

Leading the charge in the first NCAA Tournament game of his collegiate career, Brandon Goodwin finished with 28 points and seven assists while Zach Johnson added 17 points and five assists. It was more like the Seminoles vomited all over themselves. I see good Florida. He also had a charge in transition. Xavier Rathan-Mayes is the third double-digit scorer and Terance Mann is grabbing 4.7 rebounds. Jonathan Isaac missed a long 2.

Cutting the Seminoles lead to just five twice in the final minute of the game, the Eagles were unable to overcome time and complete their late comeback. "(FGCU) mixed their defenses up, man-to-man and zone.

ETSU's players and coaches know the expectations of their fans, not to mention Davis, are high.

Despite the Noles getting out to the early lead, FGCU was unfazed and unafraid. "And I think we did a really good job of withstanding their runs".

Those performances made up for relatively quiet afternoons by KeVaughn Allen and Canyon Barry, who combined for 14 points on 2-of-15 shooting, doing most of their damage at the line.

Last year, 16th-seeded FGCU mowed down Fairleigh Dickinson by 31 points in a First Four play-in Game in Dayton, Ohio, before losing just two nights later by 16 points to eventual national runner-up North Carolina in Raleigh. Because Florida Gulf Coast believed it could win.

With Florida State, Florida, Virginia and Maryland playing in the same venue, the Amway Center has the potential to become Upset Central in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.

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