A year ago, 11-seed Xavier stepped to 3-seed Florida State in the NCAA Tournament’s Round of 32 and punched them right in the mouth to advance to the Sweet 16.
The Seminoles and Musketeers will meet on the same stage this season, but Xavier coach Chris Mack is more impressed by this group of Noles than last year’s.
Mack said Saturday that “FSU is a more together team” that “plays for one another, plays together and is a better sum of its parts.”
"FSU is a more together team" — Mack points out balance vs. last year's team. "Plays for one another, plays together, better 'sum of its parts' team, no disrespect to last year."
Mentions how draft prospects start looking at draft boards this time of year and lose focus.
— Warchant.com (@Warchant) March 17, 2018
Jonathan Issac, Dwayne Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes — all of whom play in the NBA — highlighted a roster that was much more talented a year ago, but Mack noted that sometimes elite players focus more on their future than the tournament.
This season, Florida State’s roster does not consist of standout talent, but it certainly has been reliable. Eight players average more than seven points per game for the Seminoles this season. That depth helped them down Missouri in the Round of 64, as their bench scored 40 of their 67 points.
Xavier defeated Texas Southern to create another meeting with Florida State.
After handing the Seminoles a 91-66 drubbing last season, the Musketeers are ready for a fired up FSU team that has a much different look than it did a year ago.
“With how last year ended,” Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett said, “I think they’re definitely going to come out looking for revenge and give us their best shot.”
Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett on @FSUHoops: “With how last year ended, I think they’re definitely going to come out looking for revenge and give us their best shot.”
— Tim Linafelt / FSU (@Tim_Linafelt) March 17, 2018
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