50-Year Nole Anniversary: FSU Hoops Runs Away from Minnesota in Sweet 16, 70-56
AP Photo/appeared in Lakeland Ledger

50-Year Nole Anniversary: FSU Hoops Runs Away from Minnesota in Sweet 16, 70-56

Leonard Hamilton and Pat Kennedy each brought success to Florida State basketball. The Seminoles however, first reached new heights in the early-1970s under Hugh Durham.

On this day 50 years ago, FSU put the nation on notice that it was for real. The Seminoles handled Minnesota in the Sweet 16, 70-56.

Setting the Stage

In just its second NCAA Tournament appearance ever, FSU was coming off its first win as it arrived in Dayton, Ohio on March 16, 1972. The Seminoles were 24-5 and coming off a hard-fought victory over Eastern Kentucky.

Minnesota was 17-6 and coming off a win over Memphis. Under head coach Bill Musselman, the Golden Gophers had earned their spot in the NCAA Tournament by winning the Big Ten.

The Contest

Minnesota started strong, racing to a 13-7 lead. By the end of the first half, FSU had swung momentum.

Ron Harris and Ron King spearheaded an 11-2 run to end the half as the Seminoles took a 35-29 lead to the locker room. For the early parts of the second half, Minnesota stayed within striking distance. By its middle parts, FSU began to assert its will.

After the Golden Gophers closed to with three, Rowland Garrett scored six points during a 10-3 FSU run as the Seminoles led by double digits for the first time with less than seven minutes to play. From there, the score was never closer than nine.

Garrett led FSU with 23 points on 11-for-19 shooting and 11 rebounds in the victory. King and Reggie Royals each added 11 points. Royals grabbed 11 rebounds in the win. Harris and Otis Cole each added 10 points in the win.

Minnesota was held to just 33% shooting from the floor in the loss. Clyde Turner led the Golden Gophers with 19 points and 12 rebounds in the defeat. Jim Brewer added 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for Minnesota.

In Hindsight

FSU would go on to beat Kentucky and North Carolina to reach the national championship. The Seminoles would eventually fall to UCLA for the title.

It would be 21 years later before FSU once again made the Elite Eight. To this day, the Seminoles have done so just three times. Their first trip was clinched on this day a half-century ago.



Mike Ferguson is the lead writer for Double Fries No Slaw. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.

Mike Ferguson

Mike Ferguson is the lead writer for Double Fries No Slaw and has more than 10 years of experience in online and print journalism. Mike graduated from Florida State University in 2009 and has had his work featured at numerous prominent publications such as Fox Sports, the Associated Press, Athlon Sports, Yahoo Sports and Sports Illustrated among others. Prior to joining Double Fries No Slaw, Mike was the founder and editor of The Daily Nole. He also serves as the managing editor for Fifth Quarter and is a contributor for Athlon Sports, Fish Stripes and Orlando Pinstriped Post. Mike and his wife Jennifer reside in Haines City, Fla. and have two daughters.