Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton got visibly upset in his post-game interview and nearly walked out of an interview following the Seminoles’ Elite Eight loss to Michigan when TBS’ Dana Jacobson questioned his end-of-game strategy.
— March Madness TV (@MarchMadnessTV) March 25, 2018
“You think the game came down to the final seconds of the game?” Hamilton asked rhetorically. “The game was over.” He refused to answer Jacobson’s immediate follow-up questions.
The Seminoles, down four, elected not to foul after PJ Savoy’s missed 3-pointer with about 12 seconds left in Florida State’s eventual 58-54 loss. Here’s how the final sequence unfolded:
Michigan hangs on to win the West Region!
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) March 25, 2018
Hamilton completely called off the dogs after Michigan’s Duncan Robinson ran down the rebound. Certainly fouling down four with about 10 seconds left isn’t a good position to be in — and Robinson is a 90-percent free-throw shooter — but for the Seminoles to give up completely was an odd conclusion to a game in which they had battled back from a double-digit deficit in the second half.
Furthermore, Michigan ranks 321st in the nation in free-throw shooting percentage and shot just 16 of 24 on Saturday night. To just give up with time left was a major surprise, especially considering a Final Four berth was on the line. You can even see Hamilton in the background walking away from his bench and heading to shake Michigan head coach John Beilein’s hand as the seconds ticked away.
Twitter was none too kind to the Seminoles’ head man for how he handled the post-game questions.
Leonard Hamilton was a total d-bag to that reporter who asked about why they didn't foul at the end of the game. What a complete asinine handling of a totally reasonable question.
— Brenden Schaeffer (@bschaeffer12) March 25, 2018
Leonard Hamilton….answer the question. You screwed up and everyone knows it. Own it.
— Brandon Brown (@BSB_Wolverine) March 25, 2018
Yo what the hell is Leonard Hamilton talking about
— Mike Golic Jr (@MGolicJR57) March 25, 2018
Boy Leonard Hamilton is not coming across very well in explaining the final decision to not foul. Of course @danajacobson had to ask that. Stood her ground when he tried to intimidate her. Good work by a real pro there in Dana.
— Mike Hall (@BTNMikeHall) March 25, 2018
What the hell is wrong with Leonard Hamilton here? Dana Jacobsen was 100 percent right to ask why FSU didn't foul at the end.
— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) March 25, 2018
Adding even more intrigue to the story is that the betting line for the game closed at Michigan -4.5, so the Seminoles ended up covering by not fouling.
If Florida State would have fouled, Robinson hit at least one free throw and the Seminoles not scored another point, the entire betting world would’ve flipped upside down. It was a wild situation in which anyone who had money on Florida State covering was ecstatic and anyone actually rooting for the Seminoles would have been outraged. Either way, there was probably plenty of screaming at televisions across the nation, and especially in Las Vegas.
Florida State heads home after an impressive tournament run that came to a questionable-at-best conclusion in the Elite Eight. Michigan moves on to the Final Four in San Antonio where it will face Loyola-Chicago.
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