(2) Florida Gators outclass (15) UCSB Gauchos 79-51 to open 2011 NCAA Tournament

By Adam Silverstein
March 17, 2011

In a day filled with buzzer-beaters and close calls, the No. 2-seed Florida Gators (27-7) strayed from the norm and smacked down the No. 15-seed UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (18-14) 79-51 in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, FL. with the win, Florida earned its first NCAA Tournament victory since defeating Ohio State for the 2007 national title.

Senior forward Chandler Parsons led the way for the Gators with 10 points, 10 assists and seven boards, while junior point guard Erving Walker was the team’s leading scorer posting 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting (4-for-6 from downtown).

UCSB opened the game by winning the tip-off and hitting a free throw, but it was all Florida the rest of the way. The Gators started their dominance with a 10-0 run including a pair of treys from Parsons and soon after used a 17-2 run to jump ahead 35-13.

Florida took a 25-point lead a few minutes later and outshot Santa Barbara 58.1 percent to 27.3 percent in the first half. The Gators also out-rebounded the Gauchos 19-9 and stole the ball five more times (8-3) to force an extra handful of turnovers (5-10).

UF continued their onslaught after the break, jumping ahead a game-high 34 points midway through the second half. UCSB failed to make any headway in the latter portion of the game as Florida substituted most of their bench and held on for the victory.

Joining Parsons and Walker with impressive outings were sophomore guard Kenny Boynton (13 points) and senior F Alex Tyus (eight points, seven boards). Redshirt senior center Vernon Macklin finished with 10 points, and freshman C Patric Young added six points and six rebounds (three offensive).

G/F Orlando Johnson led Santa Barbara with a game-high 21 points, and teammate F James Nunnally contributed 12 points.

The Gators finished the game shooting 54.7 percent from the floor while holding the Gauchos to 36.2 percent efficiency. UF was also 8-for-23 (34.8 percent) from beyond the arc and 13-for-17 from (76.5 percent) from the charity stripe.

Florida will move on to face the winner of No. 7-seed UCLA vs. No. 10-seed Michigan State in round of 32 action on Saturday in Tampa. The game’s start time and television carrier are yet to be determined but will be announced here when available.

Photo Credit: Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

7 Comments

  1. FLA_GATORZ says:

    Great job Gators!!! Nice way to start the tournament!!!

  2. scooterp says:

    I thought after the game, that any dope that says we should expand the tourny to include more teams – should look at this game as an example of why that would be a bad idea.

    Then I flipped over to the UCONN game – which was an even better example.

    Nice Job Gators.

  3. jay d says:

    It amazed me how the ncaa selection commitee let this team in but ousted Alabama..at least alabama could fight back..great ncaa exibition game boys..our bench looks ready to step up for our first ncaa test on saterday against ucla…ucla has a couple big bodies to bang down low…. I hope macklin & tyus are ready to grind..if tyus doesn’t do his job like usual…we got young showing some major strides on the glass and in the paint!!.. go gators!!

    • Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

      I am fairly certain this was an automatic bid for winning the conference tourney so they didn’t take Bama’s spot…and one reason you want a 1 or 2 seed is you are in essence getting a bye round 1..considering Vandy got upset and UK squeaked by the SEC hasn’t had a great start…..GO GATORS

  4. SC Gator says:

    Louisville could tell you all about being complacent and not beating the teams you should dominate. Kentucky came close to doing the same.

    So yay for not falling into that trap.

  5. John S says:

    Great win, hopefully we’ll be ready to fight. Macklin will have his hands full against UCLA and the “big” boy. Hopefully we’ll let Young knock him around.

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