Cincinnati’s awfully Sweet after holding off FSU

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Cincinnati kept the state of Ohio perfect in the NCAA tournament and earned its first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2001.

Not a bad cap to the first week of the Big Dance.

The Bearcats held off No. 3 seed Florida State 62-56 Sunday night, showcasing some defense that even the Seminoles – perhaps the best defensive team in college basketball on a year-to-year basis – couldn’t top. FSU (25-10) was just 39 percent from the field and committed 17 turnovers, narrowly missing a second straight trip to the Sweet 16.

Cincinnati needed some clutch free-throw shooting to get it done, too. The Bearcats were 8-for-8 from the line in the final 34 seconds, thwarting any would-be FSU rally. They needed those, too. FSU scored six points in an 11-second stretch before finally running out of time.

Sean Kilpatrick led Cincinnati with 18 points. Luke Loucks was FSU’s top scorer with 14.

Ohio teams — Ohio State, Cincinnati, Xavier and Ohio — are all in the Sweet 16.

Cincinnati (26-10) now advances to play Ohio State (29-7) on Friday in Boston.

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