Ja Morant, perhaps sensing this would be his last opportunity to score for Murray State, turned on the jets and darted through three defenders for a driving layup.
That gave Morant 28 points and Racers fans one final thrill in a season full of them. Moments later, with Florida State way ahead and about a minute and half left on the clock, Morant came out of the game. He received a warm ovation from the Murray State fans, took a seat on the sideline and draped a towel over his head.
As the clock wound down on Florida State's 90-62 victory over 12th-seeded Murray State on Saturday, Morant wondered what more he could have done for his team and what could have been.
"I was just hurt not being able to take the floor with these guys for the rest of this season, for another game or possibly two, three, four," Morant said. "But it's been a great season. I really was just thinking back on what all we have accomplished this year."
Two days after Morant became the talk of the tournament with a triple-double that had NBA stars marveling at the surefire lottery pick, his breakout season ended with far less fanfare. He dazzled early, going 5-for-5 from three-point range in the first half vs. the Seminoles, flashing his step-back and cross-over jumpers.
He had 18 points at the half. But Florida State was winning everywhere else.
Morant had only four assists after notching 16 in the first round. He leads the country at 10 assists per game, and became the first Division I player to average double-digit assists and at least 20 points in a season.
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton chuckled at the suggestion his team did a good job on Morant. "Because to be honest with you, I'm still not sure that we stopped Morant, and I'm not sure anybody can," he said.
• Phil Cofer was on the floor with Florida State teammates for the playing of the national anthem. The senior forward found out after Thursday's game that his father, former NFL linebacker Mike Cofer, had died at 58 after a long illness. Phil Cofer was not in uniform and was wearing a plastic boot on his sore right foot.
• Duke will likely be without reserve forward Jack White for its second consecutive NCAA tournament game. The 6-7 White, a team captain, remains unable to practice at full speed due to a torn hamstring he suffered during the ACC tournament final.