NCAA Tournament: No. 10 Florida State Downs Notre Dame, 71-57, To Make Sweet 16

Notre Dame gets FSU in the 2011 NCAA Tournament's Southwest region at 9:40 on TBS.

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NCAA Bracket Update, Notre Dame Vs. Florida State: Seminoles Rout Fighting Irish To Advance To Sweet 16, 71-57

The Florida State Seminoles dominated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the final game of the round of 32 to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1993. It was never in doubt for Florida State as Notre Dame stumbled out of the gate and struggled to climb back into the game after falling into an 11-point halftime hole. Florida State cruised in the second to secure a 71-57 win.

It was more of the same in the second half as Florida State stymied Notre Dame with tough defense, pestering the Irish throughout the game. The Seminoles defense held Notre Dame to percent 31.7 shooting, including a 23.3 percent mark from beyond the arc.

Tim Abromaitis scored a game-high 21 points for Notre Dame in the loss. Ben Hansbrough scored 18 points before fouling out with just about three minutes to go. Bernard James had a double-double for Florida State, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Florida State will face VCU in a surprising Sweet 16 matchup next week. Kansas is the highest seed remaining in the Southwest region that now encompasses three double-digit seeds and the Jayhawks, the No. 1 seed.

The full Southwest region of the NCAA Tournament bracket can be found below.

No. 1 Kansas def. No. 9 Illinois Fighting Illini, 73-59
No. 12 Richmond Spiders def. No. 13 Morehead St. Eagles, 65-48
No. 11 VCU Rams def. No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers, 94-76
No. 10 Florida State Seminoles def. No. 2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

For a team-based perspective on the game, check out our Florida State blog, Tomahawk Nation, and our Notre Dame blog, Rakes of Mallow

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NCAA Tournament Scores, Notre Dame Vs. Florida State: Seminoles Take 34-23 Lead Into The Half

In a day of wacky upsets, why not add Florida State to the mix. The 10th seeded Seminoles have held Notre Dame in check over the first 20 minutes and have a 34-23 halftime lead to show for it. Cold shooting by Notre Dame combined with lights out shooting from beyond the arc by Florida State led to the lead as the Seminoles took control early and kept the Fighting Irish at bay throughout the half.

Michael Snaer paced the Seminoles with a game-high eight points in the first half. Bernard James and Deividas Dulkys were close behind, adding six points apiece. Derwin Kitchen had a five points and a team-high three rebounds in the half.

Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough each had six points in the half for the Fighting Irish, but Hansbrough struggled from the field, connecting on one of five shots. Abromaitis wasn’t much better, hitting just three of nine shots. Eric Atkins added five points off the bench, as well. Abromaitis led the way on the boards, finishing the half with a game-high six rebounds.

For a team-based perspective on the game, check out our Florida State blog, Tomahawk Nation, and our Notre Dame blog, Rakes of Mallow

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NCAA Bracket 2011: No. 2 Notre Dame Vs. No. 10 Florida State

Can Notre Dame defend the Big East's honor by ensuring the nation's supposed premier basketball conference sends more teams to the Sweet Sixteen than the ACC and about as many as the Big Ten? Or can Florida State accomplish a second 2011 NCAA Tournament upset after taking down Texas A&M in round one ("two")?

Star Watch: FSU's Chris Singleton, who missed the previous six games with an injury, returned to produce a very efficient fouls-per-minutes ratio against Texas A&M. The team's leading scorer and rebounder, a 100-percent Singleton could've made a big difference against Notre Dame. While observing the Irish, prepare to hear the names Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis a lot. The two seniors with bro in their last names lead Notre Dame in scoring.

Prediction: With a shaky Singleton, I don't see FSU being able to pull off a consecutive upset. Notre Dame will advance to play the winner of Purdue-VCU.

More Reading: Notre Dame fans should head to Rakes Of Mallow and SB Nation Indiana, while FSU fans need to make our Tomahawk Nation a daily read.

Need help picking your bracket? Check out SB Nation's full 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions, picking every game of March Madness, or our region by region breakdowns for the East RegionWest RegionSoutheast Region, and Southwest Region.

Did your team miss the 2011 NCAA Tournament? We have you covered: check out the 2011 NIT bracket.

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