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Why Florida State Has An Empty Seat On Its Bench Tonight

Phil Cofer tries to rebound for Florida State.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 16: Teammates Phil Cofer #0 and Devin Vassell #24 of the Florida State Seminoles defend Jack White #41 of the Duke Blue Devils during the championship game of the 2019 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament at Spectrum Center on March 16, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Florida State's men's basketball team is playing with heavy hearts in the Sweet 16 against No. 1 Gonzaga in Anaheim tonight.

The Seminoles are without senior forward Phil Cofer, who is at home with his family, mourning the death of his father.

Cofer's father, Michael Cofer, passed away the same day Florida State beat Vermont in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Seminoles are paying tribute to their teammate in California this evening.

Florida State has also left a seat open on its bench for Cofer:

Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton admitted prior to the Sweet 16 game that his team was going to be playing with heavy hearts.

"I know it's going to be lingering, so we don't want to hide from it," Hamilton told ESPN.

"We have to turn this into whatever positive we can and dedicate our minds, our spirits and everything else we have to go out and demonstrate the love and respect we have for Phil's family and him by how we represent him and the school at this moment."

Florida State and Gonzaga are playing for a spot in the Elite Eight.

The game is on CBS.