Just when it seemed MI would break free, on came the Seminoles with a 9-2 run to get within three at 40-37 on Phil Cofer's three-point play with 10 minutes left.
Matthews scored 10 points for U-M, Abdur-Rahkman six, but MI had eight turnovers in the first half to only three assists. The Wolverines were able to say ahead with junior center Moe Wagner and sophomore point guard Zavier Simpson on the bench for several minutes with a foul each.
The Wolverines had made 6-of-14 shots at the 7:59 mark and only 1-of-7 triples against FSU's stout defense, but still tied it on two Wagner free throws.
Florida State's relentless defense forced seven turnovers in the first 16:04. The Seminoles shot 31.4 percent, just 23.5 percent (4 of 17) from deep.
The Wolverines took a 10-4 lead in front of a huge pro-Michigan crowd when senior Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman tripled from the top, and U-M was off and running again.
Florida State was forcing bad shots as time expired on the 30-second clock.
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It's unfathomable to me that a team could pour its blood, sweat and tears into a basketball season for five months, and then just give up with 11 seconds to go in a still-winnable regional final.
MI coach John Beilein, right, talks with Moritz Wagner, left, and Isaiah Livers during the first half of the team's NCAA men's college basketball tournament regional final against Florida State on Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Los Angeles.
"They call themselves the junkyard dogs", Beilein said, referring to Florida State's nickname for its defense.
He received a $200,000 bonus when the Seminoles made the 68-team field and an additional $50,000 for consecutive appearances.
The Wolverines' ability to adapt and execute in whatever style of game emerges might be their best asset, and it bodes well for their chances at landing the second national title in program history. But some unusual calls and missed free throws, allowed Florida State to get back into it. Michigan's offense was by no means prolific, but on a night when they themselves shot 38.8 percent, that was more than enough to win with their defensive effort.
The champions of the Missouri Valley Conference - the league that once brought you Wichita State and Creighton, at least before the Shockers and Jays bolted for the American and Big East, respectively - are the fourth No. 11 seed to reach a Final Four and the first to turn that trick since VCU in 2011.
Loyola-Chicago's unexpected run through the NCAA men's basketball tournament has stretched into the Final Four. Kansas State was denied its attempt to return to the Final Four for the first time since 1964. Donte Ingram added 12 points and had a team-high eight rebounds for the Ramblers. "I think what we have to do is give MI credit for making the plays", said Hamilton.