Photo provided by Florida State athletics

Florida State has advanced past the round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament in each of its last three appearances. There was a time however, when just getting to the NCAA Tournament was a challenge.

On this day 10 years ago, FSU snapped a 13-year drought without an NCAA Tournament victory. The Seminoles put an end to the streak with a 57-50 win over Texas A&M.

Setting the Stage

After more than a decade in between appearances, FSU was in the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season as it arrived in Chicago on March 18, 2011. The 21-10 Seminoles had been 1-and-done in each of their prior two appearances and arrived as a No. 10 seed to take on Texas A&M.

The Aggies were 24-8 and a No. 7 seed in the Southwest Region. Texas A&M had ascended to as high as No. 11 in the AP Poll, but arrived as losers in three of five.

A Rally for the Guys From Tally

Looking to snap a 2-game losing streak in the round of 64, Florida State scored the games first seven points, but that lead wouldn’t last. Defenses dominated the first half, but Texas A&M started strong in the second half.

Thanks to a 9-0 run to end the first half, the Aggies led 26-23 at the break and scored the first five points to open the second half. The next 13 however, would belong to the Seminoles.

Center Bernard James was a big part of the run for FSU. Following a 3-pointer from Derwin Kitchen, James scored eight straight points to turn what was an 8-point deficit into a 34-31 FSU lead. Michael Snaer’s floater capped the run as Texas A&M went more than six minutes without a basket.

Nathan Walkup was able to pull the Aggies to within two with a 3-pointer with seven minutes to go, but a 3-pointer from Chris Singleton and a 3-point play from Kitchen pushed the lead to eight. FSU was in control the rest of the way. Snaer’s breakaway hoop put the exclamation point on the victory.

Kitchen paced FSU with 15 points, seven assists and two steals in the win. James finished with 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks.

Leading the way for Texas A&M was Khris Middleton, who scored a game-high 16 points. Walkup and David Loubeau scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the loss.

In Hindsight

For Texas A&M, the loss ended a streak of five straight wins in the round of 64. It served as the Aggies’ final game under head coach Mark Turgeon.

As for FSU, the Seminoles would go on to upset Notre Dame and reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in 18 years before falling to Virginia Commonwealth in overtime. The victory over Texas A&M served as the Seminoles’ first NCAA Tournament win in 13 years. It came on this day a decade ago.

References

ESPN

Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.