Kentucky Coach Joe Hall walked into the press conference following his 85-76 NCAA tournament victory over Florida State with a group of his players trailing him.

In the second game, Western Kentucky upset Syracuse, 87-86, in overtime.

Western Kentucky (16-15) advances to the next round Thursday at Dayton against Michigan State.

Syracuse led, 76-71, with 1:22 left Kentucky forced two quick backcourt turnover and sent the game into overtime on Mike Reese's 20-footre. Aaron Bryant scored six of the Hilltoppers 11 points in the overtime before fouling out.

"These are Dwane Casey, Fred Cowan and LaVon Williams," said Hall. "And they won this game for us.

Introductions were necessary. These players don't even start for top-ranked Kentucky, and their warmup jackets bore only their first names.

Casey, Cowan and Williams started the second half for the Wildcats, who trailed the fast-breaking Florida State Seminoles, 39-32, at the time.

On the bench sat Kentucky's glamor boys - Rick Robey, Truman Claytor and Jack Givens, who had three fouls.

The switch was made to breathe some life into Kentucky's usually bludgeoning defense.

The altered lineup performed the task, cutting off the Seminoles' furious fast break. By the time the well-rested Kentucky starters re-entered midway through the game, Florida State Coach Hugh Durham had already sensed his club tiring.

Robey came in with Kentucky trailing, 53-48, and in the next four minutes, the Wildcats outscored Florida State, 14-0. The tired Seminoles turned over the ball four times and missed a layup while Kentucky guards Kyle Macy and Claytor went to work for the Wildcats combining for six of the 12 points.

"When you see the supporting troops start the second half," said Durham, "you're thinking, if you're me, that this is our chance to build a bigger lead and get some momentum going.

"We needed to get a few more points, get up by 15 or 17 and then hang on when the starters comes back in.

"But five or six minutes into the second half, I could see we didn't have the same zip. We knew our only chance was to run up and down all over the floor, but when you run, you can almost rope-a-dope yourself. All of a sudden, we were run out."

The victory advances Kentucky, now 25-2, to a second-round game Thursday at Dayton against Miami of Ohio, an upset winner yesterday over Marquette.

Durham, who finished the year at 23-6, pointed out that things could have worked out the other way.

"Yeah," said Durham, "there's no question that it took a lot of guts and courage on Hall's part to make that change. Suppose we had built the lead up to 15 or 18?The starters get back in, they're rattled, they make a few turnovers, we're up by 20. Joe would be standing here roasting, and I'd be on TV.

"Joe's that way. He's in the toughest coaching situation in the country, and he's felt the heat. But he's sold on the job he does and he's not afraid to tell you so."

Macy, Kentucky's floor leader, was the object of most of Florida State's pressure, including a frequent back-court press.

"You can't write too much about Macy," said Durham. "Because of the kind of player he is, Kentucky has the opportunity to go on and do the thing most of you think they should do."

Macy finished with 14 points, hitting 11 in the second half, and had six assists, pacing Kentucky's 65 percent shooting effort in the final 20 minutes. Claytor paced Kentucky with 16 points, Mike Phillips had 14, Robey added 12 and Givens had 11 in 20 minutes.

Mickey Dillard came off the bench for Florida State to fuel the fast break and scored 21 points to top all scorers.