There will be no “Cinderella Story” for the No. 15 seed Norfolk State University (NSU) Spartans. After shocking No. 2 seed Missouri on March 16, the Spartans fell back down to reality, losing to No. 7 seed Florida, 84-50, on March 18 in the West region of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.
NSU star senior center Kyle O’Quinn, who scored 26 points and 14 rebounds in the upset over Missouri March 16, struggled against Florida, scoring only four points on 1-for-9 shooting; he also finished with only three rebounds. Senior forward Marcos Tamares was the only Spartan who scored double-digits with 12 points, but even he was only 4-for-12 from the field.
In contrast, Florida used a well-balanced offensive attack against NSU with five different players scoring double-digits. Junior guard Kenny Boyton led the way with 20 points, along with eight rebounds and four assists; senior guard Ervin Walker followed with 15 points, while freshman guard Bradley Beal added 14 points. Redshirt junior point guard Mike Rosario scored 12 points while junior center Erik Murphy added 10 points with eight rebounds.
Florida (25-10 overall) advanced to face No. 3 seed Marquette; the game is scheduled for March 22.
Norfolk State, who won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championship with a 13-3 record) will finish its historical season at 26-10 overall.