Florida State beats Colorado, reaches 3rd straight Sweet 16

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 22: Anthony Polite #2 of the Florida State Seminoles drives to the basket during the second half against the Colorado Buffaloes in the second round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 22, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 22: Anthony Polite #2 of the Florida State Seminoles drives to the basket during the second half against the Colorado Buffaloes in the second round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 22, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – Florida State barely reveled in its return to the Sweet 16 — exactly as Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton wanted.

Anthony Polite scored a career-high 22 points and No. 4 seed Florida State pulled away in the second half to beat Colorado 71-53 Monday night and advance to the regional semifinal for the third straight NCAA Tournament.

“These guys are pretty focused,” Hamilton said. "An indication is that nobody was jumping up and down and high-fiving and getting overly excited in the locker room. Everybody was calm, focused — like we’ve been here before. That’s the signs of a team maturing.”

Florida State (18-6) advanced to face East region No. 1 seed Michigan, which knocked out the Seminoles in the 2018 Elite Eight.

Polite had never scored more than 15 points in a game, but the junior made 8 of 12 shots, including 4 of 7 3-pointers.

“It’s probably my best game, definitely, statistics-wise,” Polite said. “I feel like I’m going to keep giving my effort at 100%, keep on coming out with a defensive mentality. Seeing the shots go in is just going to boost my confidence.”

Hamilton — recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon — again wore a boot as he walked the sideline. His Seminoles shot 53% from the field.

D'Shawn Schwartz scored 13 points for fifth-seeded Colorado (23-9), which shot 36% overall. McKinley Wright IV, Colorado's leading scorer for the season with more than 15 points per contest, finished with 10 on 4-of-12 shooting.