Tigers fall flat in return to NCAA Tournament, ousted by Florida State

18 March, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Lynne Higgins
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Now, FSU - especially after their performance late Friday night - has a chance at redemption against the team that ended their historic campaign last season.

Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. said after the Tigers' 67-54 loss to Florida State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament that he isn't ready to consider whether to enter the National Basketball Association draft. Not only that, but Mizzou has Michael Porter Jr. back on the court after missing pretty much the entire season with a back injury.

However, it was No. 11 seed Xavier beating a No. 3 seed FSU 91-66 nearly a year ago to the day.

"We're just trying to go in, get a win and get to the Sweet 16".

The younger Porter said he was proud of everything MU accomplished, all the resilience the team showed after losing one of the country's top players two minutes into the season. "We know it's still going to be a challenge, but we're looking forward to playing someone outside of the SEC". Missouri never got closer than six in the second half before the Seminoles sealed the win with 15 straight points.

"We kind of got the message for what we needed to do there", Porter said. "The best thing we have to do is keep our composure and just keep doing us".

Porter scored 16 points, had 10 rebounds and three steals in 28 minutes of action against the Seminoles. "And we were really missing Jordan Barnett tonight".

CAUSE FOR OPTIMISM: Michael Porter Jr. and Jontay Porter didn't immediately announce they were entering the draft after the game.

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Florida State trailed 7-1 to begin the game before countering with a 20-4 run midway in the first half sparked by Forrest and Cofer.

No Seminoles player had more than nine points in the first half, but all 10 that played scored at least one basket.

It didn't matter that Kassius Robertson's final performance in a Mizzou-emblazoned uniform almost brought Missouri back from a 22-point deficit.

But FSU remained poised to reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: PJ Savoy knocked down a 3-pointer with 8:32 to go, stretching Florida State's lead to 13 and knocking the final bit of life out of the Tigers. This is a facet of Porter Jr.'s game I can't fault him for, as it is hard to exercise when one has spinal disc fix surgery.

"At the end of the game, I thought it was a better effort", Martin said. "This is not a feeling I want to feel again". Kassius Robertson led the Tigers with 19 points.

By the time Saturday's game tips off, 15 days will have passed since Mizzou's last game in the SEC Tournament, giving the Tigers plenty of time to sharpen their clunky offense. For the second consecutive year, FSU is set to rematch against No. 1 Xavier on Sunday, March 18th.

Well, here we are, and MU is not only in the tournament, but they're an eight seed. The turnovers, the Seminole dunks, the Tiger bricked shots and six missed first-half free throws-it all just sort of blended together after a while as the Tigers unraveled completely and fantastically.

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