FSU loses ACC tourney opener to Louisville

Noles now wait and see about NCAA Tournament bid

By AP writer Mike Fitzpatrick

Louisville's Ryan McMahon (30) shoots a 3-point basket over Florida State's Braian Angola (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the second round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament Wednesday, March 7, 2018,…

NEW YORK - Quentin Snider scored 19 points, Ray Spalding had 18 and Louisville built a huge lead before knocking off Florida State 82-74 on Wednesday in an Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament game with substantial NCAA implications.
    
Deng Adel added 15 points and eight rebounds for the ninth-seeded Cardinals (20-12), who won for the first time in ACC postseason play and advanced to face top-ranked Virginia in the first quarterfinal Thursday.
    
Trent Forrest and PJ Savoy each had 14 points off the bench to pace No. 8 seed Florida State (20-11), which trailed by 26 with 11 minutes remaining.
    
A furious rally by the Seminoles whittled the margin to eight with 3:26 to play, but Louisville regrouped and hung on behind Snider. The senior point guard had six assists and five rebounds without committing a turnover in 35 minutes.
    
The teams combined for 21 blocked shots (11 by FSU), a tournament record.
    
BIG PICTURE
    
Louisville: Trying to salvage a tumultuous, scandal-plagued season by at least making the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinals needed this one badly - perhaps more than Florida State. Louisville had dropped four of five and seven of 10, including an excruciating 67-66 loss to Virginia at home last Thursday. After losing the regular-season finale at North Carolina State two days later, interim coach David Padgett acknowledged his team couldn't afford a quick exit in Brooklyn. Whether the Cardinals need to upset Virginia, too, remains to be seen. ... Louisville had been 0-2 in ACC Tournament games.
    
Florida State: Looking to make consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012, the Seminoles have reason to believe their resume is worthy. They beat Florida, Virginia Tech and Louisville on the road, plus North Carolina, Clemson and Miami at home. ... Florida State has lost five of eight and six of 10. ... FSU, held to 22 points in the first half, had won six straight ACC Tournament openers.
    
HISTORY LESSON
    
The previous time these programs faced each other in a league tournament was 1991, when Florida State rallied from 20 points down to defeat Louisville for the Metro Conference championship. The Seminoles and Cardinals squared off five times in the title game of the old Metro Conference. Louisville leads the all-time series 34-11.
    
UP NEXT
    
Louisville: Another shot at the top team in the country. Louisville lost both matchups with Virginia during the regular season and has dropped six in a row to the Cavaliers (28-2), who allow only 58.2 points per game - best in the nation.
    
Florida State: Hoping for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

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