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SWEET 16 BOUND: Noles Upset No. 1 Xavier, 75-70

Posted at 12:06 AM, Mar 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-18 20:11:45-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Courtesy of Seminoles.com) – As soon as C.J. Walker made his first of two free throws, the one that effectively sealed Florida State’s win over Xavier here late Sunday night, Terance Mann and P.J. Savoy exchanged a knowing smile near midcourt.

They knew it, same as everyone else packed into Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena:

The Seminoles are going to the Sweet 16.

Walker connected on the second free throw, Xavier turned over the ensuing inbounds pass and the Seminoles then erupted in celebration of a moment seven years in the making.

No. 8-seed Florida State 75, No. 1 Xavier 70.

The Seminoles are headed to NCAA West Region semifinal in Los Angeles, where they’ll meet fourth-seeded Gonzaga on Thursday.

It’s FSU’s fifth all-time appearance in the Sweet 16 and first since 2011.

The Seminoles also exacted a measure of revenge on Xavier, which ended their season in this same round a year ago.

And the Musketeers threatened to do it again.

But unlike last year, when Xavier stunned FSU and ran away with the game, this time, the Seminoles had an answer.

FSU erased a pair of double-digit deficits – one in each half – and took the lead for good when P.J. Savoy drained a corner 3-pointer that made it 71-70 with 1:08 to go.

Savoy finished with 11 points, Braian Angola had a team-high 16 and Trent Forrest added 13 for FSU, which went on an 18-5 run to close the game.