But while experienced Bulldogs came in favorites, but the upstart Seminoles ended up leaving the victors.
The game started off with each team trading blows, with neither squad hitting many shots in the early going.With around 13 minutes left in the first half, the Seminoles went on a big 15-5 run, with great play coming from Terrance Mann and Chris Counmadje. But right as the ‘Noles began to pull away, questionable fouls were called, and all of a sudden the Zags were right back in the thick of things.
Right as Gonzaga was poised to take the lead, however, the Seminoles went on a late first-half run, shutting down the Bulldog offensively and finishing up the 1st with a 41-32 lead. The start of the second saw the Zags start to come back, and with just over 10 minutes left in the game, the Seminoles had only a four-point lead.
Then the Noles took over.
Terrance Mann, the captain who has been the backbone of this squad all season, stepped up and drove into the lane several times to get foul shots. Braian Angola nailed a few clutch midrange shots to extend the lead, and Phil Cofer had several key defensive plays to keep the game out of reach. Despite the best efforts of Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura and freshman guard Zach Norvell Jr, each of whom continued their outstanding tournament play by dropping double figures, the Seminoles depth and athleticism were too much to handle. The Noles, despite a well-fought game from Gonzaga (and very questionable officiating), defeated the Bulldogs 75-60.
Now, for the first time since 1993, Florida State is moving on to Elite Eight to face Michigan. In the words of Drake: “What a time to be alive”