Today I look to see the number one seed, Xavier (29-5) to be tested. That wasn’t the case last game against a Texas southern team that frankly this writer thinks didn’t belong in this tournament. The highlight of the game was seeing Bill Murray and a coach argue with a man with spray paint hair. However, make no bones about it J.P Macura shot the lights out, against a shit team or not. I can’t wait to see him against Mfiondu Kabengele in the scoring department. Today should be a great match up and FSU is NOT Texas Southern, so look to have the number one seed pushed a bit harder.
Xavier comes out with Goodin, Bluiett, Kanter, Marshall, and hot handed Macura.
FSU brings out Cofer, Walker, Savoy, Angola and Koumadge. Koumadge meets Kanter for the tip its FSU ball, Macura fouls leaving Koumadge to hit both and a quick 2 nothing lead for the Seminoles. Brian Angola adds to the FSU lead with a three. J.P Macura finally gets Xavier on the board with a two, but Angola drops a three to bring the lead to six with eighteen to play. Kanter is finding light on the inside and gets Xavier back within one. J.P Macura hits a big three and gives Xavier the lead, but not for long as Cofer drains a three of his own. This is going to be a good one ladies and gents, as both teams keep exchanging leads. Xavier ball with under fifteen to play in the first, bad shot and a foul gives the Seminoles a chance to take the lead back. FSU does indeed take the lead 13-12 with thirteen to play. The Florida State defense is doing great but they can’t stop Kanter who finds a lane to get Xavier back ahead. FSU is going to have to start hitting the open shots they are getting on the inside, if they want to win this battle.
Good news though my friend from the first game and his imaginary friend Thompson are now watching the “Walking dead” without head phones here in the press box. Shit is just as nutty as squirrel turds here in Nashville, and this reporter wouldn’t have it any other way! Xavier has the ball with eleven to play and a two-point lead. There has been a lot of missed first, second and third attempt shots by the Seminoles and we now sit 24-15 Xavier lead with ten to play in the first. Florida State can’t buy a basket with steamy pictures of David Hasselhoff at this point. After what seemed like forever Angola hit for the Seminoles, but with only eight minutes to play in the first. Florida state is going to have to find some offense if they want to stay in this game. I should have named this article, “This is NOT Missouri” the way the Noles are being handled. Just around six minutes left in the first and FSU hits a big three to put them within three. Xavier is getting a lot of foul calls and that may play a big factor in the second. We now hit the five-min mark and the Seminoles are only down two, J.P Macura takes a hard foul and is slow to get up for Xavier. They can’t stand to lose Macura who has been king isn’t-points for the Musketeers this tournament. Cofer for FSU is fouled, he hits both and now we have a one point game with Macura on the bench for Xavier. Around the two-minute mark in three first and FSU has retaken the lead 29-28. After a foul, and one hit free throw we are tied with under two to play. A huge three from Angola puts FSU back in the lead, seems their offense has woken up a bit. WOW, I have been watching basketball around thirty years and I’ve never seen a goal tending call missed, until now. Xavier literally had a ball rolling around the rim when an FSU player swatted it off, if that’s not goal tending then I am watching a Yahtzee tournament. Down to eighteen seconds and the Seminoles still hold a slight lead, until J.P “Macaroni and cheese” Macura hit a three off the bench to tie. No time left on the clock when a foul is called. Of course, we will shoot some free throws as payback for stealing a couple of points from the Musketeers during that goal tend. At the half we sit 34-32 Xavier, it what has been a hell of a first half!
Looking forward to this second half as we sit with only a two-point difference. FSU came out hot against Missouri in the second half of their last game, let’s see if that stands up tonight against the Musketeers. Kanter for Xavier is instantly fouled to start the second getting the Musketeers up by four. A steal and a monster dunk puts them at 40 with eighteen to play. As I said the Seminoles had a great second half last game, but that’s not looking to be the case
this time around. Xavier and Macura have been diving for balls, the scrappy play they’re bringing has been the difference in this half. J.P Macura hits a damn near impossible shot, and brings the Musketeers up by nine. Macura is the type of player every coach would love to have on their team. It is apparent here in the second who wants it more, the Seminoles came out flat and not motivated in my opinion. Although FSU survived a surge by Xavier in the first I’m worried there may not be enough in the tank to do it again. Kanter picked up his third foul with fifteen to play.
The fans here in Nashville have swayed from supporting Xavier to being pro Macura and with shots like he just hit to bring Xavier to a 46-35 lead, it’s no wonder why. J.P Macura just had the sweetest block since the U.N sanctions against N. Korea but the referees much like Kim Jung Un wasn’t having it and instead called a foul.
Only twelve to play, Bluiett hits a three and the Musketeers are rolling with an eleven-point lead. Xavier has really risen to the occasion and in my mind, play to the level of opponent they are facing. That could be both a blessing
and a curse as they get deeper in the tournament. The crowd has broken into a chant of “lets go Noles” and they could use all the support they can get right now, down nine. Bill Murray is a no show, but his Musketeers don’t seem to miss or need him, as J.P Macura became a grown man tonight. Things are really starting to gel for Xavier, and they are starting to pull away with ten to play and up twelve. Only eight to play and Macura picks up his fourth foul, losing him now could be all FSU needs to rally. Xavier is holding a pretty solid nine-point lead with only seven to go. I wish I could give you more to go on, but honestly, it’s just foul after foul after foul. FSU has life and is closing the gap. This is starting to get interesting as FSU has tied the game. Who would believe there might be two upsets in one night in the same arena. Holy goodness FSU has taken the lead, Macura being absent has really made a difference and now with seconds left on the clock FSU holds the game in their hands, and as the clock winds down the Seminoles move on to the sweet sixteen! This has been a hell of a tournament here in Nashville and for the NCAA. Like a fat kid in dodge ball the Xavier Musketeers are out and it came down to free throws, one might wonder how a few of those calls might have changed the game. Not me, just someone. Once again, FSU is NOT Texas Southern.
HMG Guest Writer: Stephen Eugene