M.J. Walker hurts ankle, but returns for the FSU Seminoles

Jonathan Tully
Tallahassee Democrat
Florida State Seminoles guard M.J. Walker (23) shoots over  a Michigan defender during the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Sunday, March 28, 2021, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.

M.J. Walker, the Florida State Seminoles' leading scorer in the 2020-21 season, had to leave the game with just under 15 minutes to go after appearing to roll his left ankle on a drive.

Walker, who averages 12.3 points a game, yelled in pain and had to be helped off the court in the 'Noles' Sweet 16 game against the Michigan Wolverines.

Walker was able to return to the game, and scored on a layup with less than 5 minutes left.

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Walker had a similar injury in the Seminoles' round-of-32 game against UNC Greensboro, but was able to come back in that game.

Against UNC Greensboro:M.J. Walker overcomes ankle injury, scores big basket for Seminoles

Anthony Polite had begun picking up the scoring slack prior to Walker's injury, hitting a critical three-pointer to bring the Seminoles within six points.

Florida State Seminoles vs. Michigan Wolverines: What you need to know

Florida State (18-6) has now been in the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2018, 2019 and this season -- the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID pandemic. The Seminoles are led by guard M.J. Walker (12.3 points a game) and forward RaiQuan Gray (12 points a game). Against Colorado, guard Anthony Polite scored a career-high 20 points as the 'Noles pulled away with a stifling second half. Prior to the win over Colorado, Florida State defeated UNC Greensboro 64-54 in the first round.

Michigan (22-4) won the Big Ten regular-season title but lost to Ohio State in the conference tournament. The Wolverines are led by center Hunter Dickinson (14.2 points, 7.5 rebounds a game), but second-leading scorer Isaiah Livers (12.5 points a game) is unlikely to return this season following a foot injury. The Wolverines beat Texas Southern 78-66 and LSU 86-78 to reach this point.

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