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College basketball: Florida State, SMU advance to NIT semifinals
First Published Mar 26 2014 09:46 pm • Last Updated Mar 26 2014 10:50 pm

Tallahassee, Fla. • Florida State was considered one of the first four teams left out of the NCAA tournament by the selection committee.

Now the Seminoles are going to the final four of the NIT.

At a glance

Schedule

Quarterfinals

Tuesday

» Clemson 73, Belmont 68

» Minnesota 81, Southern Miss 73

Wednesday

» Florida State 78, Louisiana Tech 75

» SMU 67, California 65

Semifinals

At Madison Square Garden

Tuesday, April 1

» Minnesota (23-13) vs. Florida State (22-13), 5 p.m.

» Clemson (23-13) vs. SMU (26-9), 7:30 p.m.

Championship

Thursday, April 3

» Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.

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Aaron Thomas scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half and Okaro White had 14 first-half points as Florida State defeated Louisiana Tech 78-75 Wednesday night to advance to the NIT semifinals.

"We have not won a national title," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "To compete in the NIT is a tremendous opportunity for our guys. Hopefully we’ll take advantage of it."

Louisiana Tech’s Raheem Appleby missed a pair of 3-point attempts in the final 7 seconds that could have tied the game.

Thomas has scored 20 or more points in all three of FSU’s NIT wins. The sophomore guard, who also had nine rebounds, has averaged 18.9 points in eight games in March."

"He’s a freak of an athlete with ball skills," Louisiana Tech coach Michael White said of Thomas. "He’s a really tough cover."

White finished with 20 points and eight rebounds.

FSU (22-13) will play Minnesota in the NIT semifinals on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Seminoles advanced to the NIT semis for the first time since 1997.

Kenneth Smith had 16 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes for Louisiana Tech (29-8).


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story continues below

SMU 67, California 65 • In Dallas, Nic Moore made a 3-pointer with 6.5 seconds left to lift SMU past California 67-65 on Wednesday night and into the NIT semifinals.

Moore’s shot provided one more dose of Moody Magic, sending Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown and the Mustangs (26-9) to Madison Square Garden.

SMU regained the lead for the first time in more than 8 minutes when Nick Russell, one of two Mustangs seniors, made a reverse layup with 36 seconds left.



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