Florida State advances past Missouri, 67-54

Mizzou Ready for Return to NCAA Tournament

"There's so many positives from this season and joyous moments and playing with these guys and learning from the coaches and experiencing the atmosphere and the fans of Missouri and the support".

Cofer scored on a tip-in, starting an 11-0 run capped by Savoy's 3-pointer. Even with new players and a new coach in Cuonzo Martin, the Tigers head home from their first NCAA trip since 2013 with the program's fourth straight loss in a first round.

Now they'll face the No. 1 Xavier Musketeers in the second round Sunday.

It didn't matter that Kassius Robertson's final performance in a Mizzou-emblazoned uniform almost brought Missouri back from a 22-point deficit.

After sitting out almost the entire season, Missouri freshman phenom Michael Porter Jr. struggled immensely, failing to catch rhythm in the first half.

Rust was to be expected, but it was unavoidable to notice that during the first half's ugliest moments, no Tiger looked more lost than the one that was expected to put the squad on his shoulders just a few short months ago. (Florida State's lead) ballooned back up to 15.

TURNING POINT: Porter Jr. fouling Cofer on a 3-pointer attempt with 9:29 to go. When Braian Angola knocked down a 3 from the corner - off a terrific pass from Terance Mann - the Seminoles had a 22-point advantage.

The Seminoles pulled away — thanks to some Missouri misses and Florida State free throws — jumping the lead back up to an insurmountable 20 points.

This was just the third game this season for Porter, who suffered a back injury in Missouri's season opener.

More news: Buoyed by bypoll win, Oppn's 'grand alliance' chorus grows

The Tigers also needed to stay out of foul trouble, a lesson learned in Missouri's 62-60 loss to Georgia in the SEC Tournament. The younger Porter managed just two points on 1 of 7 shooting. If the Tigers beat Florida State, Barnett will be eligible to play in Missouri's second round NCAA game.

Nevada (28-7) erased a 14-point, second-half deficit and tied it at 68 when Jordan Caroline hit one of two free throws with 3.8 seconds left in regulation. In fact, he said that his son wants to make a decision, but "we're holding him back". As a team, Florida State is scoring 81.8 points per game on 47.4% shooting from the field, 35.1% from behind the arc and 68.5% from the foul line this season.

Missouri: The Tigers will never know how much having their second-leading scorer might have helped.

Going into Friday night, it had been almost 3,000 days since the last time Mizzou won a NCAA tournament game. "It wasn't enough", senior guard Kassius Robertson said.

Porter is considered a likely lottery pick, possibly even top five for the National Basketball Association draft in June.

Tilmon said the team was simply exhausted at the end of its run to make the game competitive again. This is a facet of Porter Jr.'s game I can't fault him for, as it is hard to exercise when one has spinal disc fix surgery. "I was just doing a good job trying to find them in the spots they were most comfortable with". "We aren't going to talk about it tomorrow, or tonight either".

"Probably, but I don't care", Porter Jr. said regarding the idea he might be criticized for how he played.

"That's just what it is, when you're coming off of injuries, getting the rust off your body, getting the flow of games, getting the flow of situations", Martin said. Florida State went into intermission up 42-20, and all 10 Seminoles who played scored.

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