Needing at least one win to feel better about its chances of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, Louisville earned it on Wednesday, beating Florida State 82-74 in the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament at Barclays Center.
Four players reached double figures for the ninth-seeded Cardinals (20-12), led by Quentin Snider with 19 points, six assists and five rebounds. Ray Spalding added 18 points, while Deng Adel contributed 15 and reserve Dwayne Sutton netted 10 points. Louisville gets a crack at top-seeded and No. 1 Virginia on Thursday in the first of the quarterfinal games in Brooklyn.
PJ Savoy and Trent Forrest came off the bench to pace the Seminoles (20-11) with 14 points each. Phil Cofer scored 12 and Mfiondu Kabengele hit for 10 points off the bench, but it wasn’t nearly enough to keep Florida State from facing a tense wait until Selection Sunday.
Florida State actually got off to a good start, aided by the Cardinals’ lack of attention to detail. Twice in the first eight minutes, Louisville fouled 3-point shooters. The Seminoles led 17-14 after the second of those infractions and had Savoy marching to the line for a possible 4-point play after a TV timeout.
But Savoy missed the shot and Louisville just took over from there. While Florida State made just 2 of 17 shots to close the half, the Cardinals found traction offensively, going on a 27-5 run to close the half with a blend of post and perimeter scoring.
They closed the half in fitting fashion, getting a 3-pointer from Ryan McMahon as the horn sounded to take a 41-22 lead to the locker room.
Louisville kept the roll going to start the second half, expanding its advantage to 26 points at the 11:35 mark when Snider stroked a 3-ball. The Seminoles actually made a good run, cutting the deficit to 80-74 with 15.7 left as Kabengele dunked, but ran out of time.
The teams combined for 21 blocked shots, a single-game record in the tournament.
—Field Level Media