Florida State showcased resiliency throughout its loss to Michigan in the West Regional Final Saturday night. There were multiple times late in the second half where the Seminoles appeared to be buried, and each one of those times they fought back and got themselves into a one possession game. Leonard Hamilton’s team should be commended for that.
But what in the world was up with that ending?
For the duration of the game’s final minute, Florida State played like it had no idea how much time was on the clock. They rushed threes when they didn’t need to, they fouled when they didn’t need to, and then most inexplicably of all, they opted not to foul despite still having a shot to win the game.
After an ugly miss on a forced three-point shot by Florida State’s PJ Savoy, Michigan’s Duncan Robinson corralled the rebound with 11 seconds still to play ... and FSU just decided it was done.
The clock ran out. Michigan advanced to the Final Four. Florida State wrapped its 2017-18 season with a 23-12 record.
It’s unfathomable to me that a team could pour its blood, sweat and tears into a basketball season for five months, and then just give up with 11 seconds to go in a still-winnable regional final. Even if you have to foul Robinson, who was the best free-throw shooter on the floor, at least you’re making the other team earn it.
It’s also worth noting here that Michigan had missed four of the eight free-throws it had attempted in the game’s final two minutes, and was just 16-of-24 (66.7 percent) from the charity stripe for the evening.
Hamilton was asked after the game by TBS’ Dana Jacobsen about the decision not to foul, and he wasn’t having any of it.