Quick links:
 Latest Team Rankings
 Free Rivals Alerts
 Member Services
ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports

March 1, 2006

Noles take down No. 1 Duke

Box score Photos Video Quotebook Hamilton's post-game

Even if the celebration came 1.7 seconds too soon, March Madness officially arrived at Florida State.

Backed into a must-win game against the No. 1 team in the country, the Seminoles stormed past Duke in the closing minutes for a 79-74 victory and punched what should be their first ticket to the NCAA tournament since 1998.

But the Tucker Center party took a bizarre twist with 1.7 seconds remaining when FSU forward Al Thornton was fouled. Thinking the game was over, hundreds of students stormed the floor. The Seminoles, who were leading 77-72 at the time, were assessed a two-shot technical foul.

"Let's just face it this is uncharted waters for us," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We're not accustomed to playing the No. 1 team in the country on Senior Night in the last game of the year. Our crowd was over-anxious, but to be honest even I thought the clock had run out and the game was over."

After All-American guard J.J. Redick made two free throws to cut the lead to 77-74, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski sent all of his players to the locker room except for five reserves. They stayed on the floor as Thornton made his two free throws to close out the scoring.

"I pulled my team off the floor for the safety of the team,"

Krzyzewski said. "It's unfortunate that happened. When a crowd rushes when there is still time on the clock, you have to be very careful. We weren't going to win the ball game so why put those kids in harm's way. I thought it was the right thing to do."

The storming of the court will certainly overshadow what was another classic game between the two schools.

Thornton scored 26 points keyed by a 15-of-16 effort from the free throw line and teammate Alexander Johnson had 22 points and 13 rebounds to counter another great night from Duke's Shelden Williams (20 points, 16 rebounds) and Redick (30 points).

Duke (27-2, 14-1) had two possessions in the final two minutes to tie the game, but Redick was held without a field goal attempt by FSU senior Andrew Wilson.

The Seminoles (18-8, 8-7 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) out-rebounded the Blue Devils 42-39. More importantly, they were rewarded for their gameplan of attacking the basket and outshot Duke at the free throw line. The Seminoles were 32-of-40 from the line compared to Duke's 10-of-17.

In the team's first meeting, the Blue Devils attempted 43 free throws to FSU's 11.

But no one in an FSU uniform cared much how the game was won on Wednesday night. Instead, the players were just happy to bask in what should be their first NCAA tournament appearance under Hamilton.

"I couldn't have written this any better," FSU's Wilson said. "This is such an important win for our team and, really, for our program. To go out like this is just incredible."

Talk about it on the Tribal Council or the Hoops Message Board.

Florida State NEWS


Latest Headlines:

Rivals.com is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
Site-specific editorial/photos Warchant.com. All rights reserved. This website is an officially and independently operated source of news and information not affiliated with any school or team.
About | Advertise with Us | Contact | Privacy Policy | About our Ads | Terms of Service | Copyright/IP policy | Yahoo! Sports - NBC Sports Network

Statistical information 2014 STATS LLC All Rights Reserved.