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NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: Florida State knocks out listless Gonzaga

Without Killian Tillie, the Bulldogs were rudderless.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Florida State vs Gonzaga Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga’s season is over. Florida State thoroughly demolished the Bulldogs on Thursday night in the Staples Center. The Seminoles took advantage of a Gonzaga team sans Killian Tillie and cruised to a 75-60 win.

In some ways, it was similar to Gonzaga’s loss in the championship game last year, with an ACC team dominating Gonzaga in a dull, defense-heavy clash. The Bulldogs’ hopes took a hit before the game even started when it was announced that Killian Tillie would miss the game after re-aggravating a hip injury during warmups. The Bulldogs were listless without Tillie on the floor. Gonzaga shot 33.9 percent from the field and had 7 turnovers to 13 assists.

Frankly, it was not a good basketball game. Florida State jumped on Gonzaga early, building a 23-11 lead after nine minutes. Gonzaga just could not get into a rhythm. Gonzaga rallied to tie it up, but a crushing 11-1 run to end the first half set the tone for the second half. Florida State’s lead never dipped below four points. Although Mark Few’s men could’ve forced the issue on a normal night, it was far from ordinary. Florida State’s Terance Mann led all scorers with 18 points. Perkins and Norvell were 7-for-25 from the field. It was just a complete disaster from Gonzaga, if we’re being honest.

Gonzaga’s last loss came to Saint Mary’s on Jan. 18, but the Bulldogs certainly did not look like they’d won 16 consecutive games. FSU had all the energy and physicality, looking far different from the squad that got blown out by Louisville in the ACC Tournament. The Bulldogs will end this season, possibly their final season in the WCC, with a 33-5 record and a disappointing NCAA Tournament exit.