NCAA Tournament Gameday: (3) Florida Gators vs. (11) Minnesota Golden Gophers

By Adam Silverstein
March 24, 2013

Location: Frank Erwin Center – Austin, TX [Capacity: 16,292]
Time: 6:10 p.m. EDT

TV: TNT (Tim Brando, Mike Gminski, Otis Livingston)
SiriusXM: 93/191 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: NCAA.com | Mobile Video: NCAA March Madness Live
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper app

(3) FLORIDA GATORS (11) MINNESOTA … GOPHERS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Tubby Smith
Record: 27-7 Record: 21-12
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Big Ten
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -8 | O/U 125.5

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 29-10 in 13 NCAA Tournaments under Donovan and has reached at least the Elite Eight round in four of the last seven seasons (two national titles). The Gators advanced to the round of 32 for the third-straight year with a 79-47 win over Northwestern State on Friday.
» Minnesota is 1-0 all-time against Florida (74-66 in 1993 NIT). The Gators are 8-8 against members of the Big Ten under Donovan (3-2 in NCAA Tournament games).
» Smith owns a 14-10 record head-to-head against Donovan, but Donovan has been victorious the last six times the two coaches have squared off.
» Florida is 52-7 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game (65-6 in 2012-13).
» The Gators have four starters that average in double figures, while the Golden Gophers have three with Trevor Mbakwe also averaging 9.9 points per game.
» UF is 4-1 against top-25 opponents this season after going 3-5 against ranked adversaries last season with all five losses coming to top-three teams.
» Florida is 0-6 this season in single-digit decisions while Minnesota is 6-7.
» The Gators are ranked first nationally in scoring margin (+18.4), second in scoring defense (53.5), fourth in field goal defense (.377), 11th in field goal percentage (.481), 15th in three-pointers per game (8.4), 17th in three-point defense (.297) and 21st in assist-turnover ratio (1.34). Florida is also sixth nationally in fouling (14.1) and 223rd in free throw percentage (.678).
» The Golden Gophers are ninth nationally in rebounding margin (7.8) and 12th in blocked shots (5.6). Minnesota is also 207th nationally in free throw percentage (.683).

Read the rest of the Florida-Minnesota gameday preview…after the break!

WHAT’S AT STAKE / PLAYER TO WATCH

FLORIDA
The Gators are looking to get over the Elite Eight hump that has caught them in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments and their journey continues with Donovan going up against an old foe in Smith. Florida boasts one of the top defenses in the nation but struggles on the glass at times, an issue that could rear its ugly head against one of the best rebounding teams in college basketball. A victory would advance the Gators to the Sweet 16 for the third-straight season, while a loss would send Florida home with a bitter taste in its mouth.

» Senior guard Kenny Boynton (#1) has gone through his fair share of shooting slumps this season but seems to have found his stroke again over the last three games. Boynton is hitting nearly 47 percent of his shots and 37 percent of his threes over the last two weekends and looks to be much more comfortable shooting the ball. He is the Gators’ second-leading scorer at 12.3 points per game, and his play often dictates the type of game that Florida will have on any given night.

MINNESOTA
The Golden Gophers are looking to build off of their first NCAA Tournament win in Smith’s six seasons with the program by taking down the Gators and advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1990. (Minnesota also reached that round in 1997 but had to forfeit its tournament games due to NCAA sanctions.) One of the hottest teams in the country at the time, the Golden Gophers began the season 15-1 but have lost 11 of their last 17 games. Minnesota took a three-game losing streak into the tournament before defeating UCLA on Friday evening.

» Sophomore G Andre Hollins (#1), like Boynton, has a lot to do with how the Golden Gophers perform on the court. The team’s leading scorer at 14.3 points per game, he also plays a team-high 30.0 minutes, shoots a team-best 41 percent from beyond the arc and averages a team-high 3.5 assists per game. Hollins is Minnesota’s best backcourt rebounder at 3.7 per game and, along with Austin Hollins (#20), can fuel the Golden Gophers to victory in any contest.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

Boynton continues to make waves in his fourth year as a starter for the Gators. He is quickly climbing his way up many of Florida’s all-time lists and is already first in school history in five categories: three-point field goals made (331) and attempted (967), field goal attempts (1,649), career starts (139) and minutes played (4,586). He currently leads the SEC in career points (2,006) and three-pointers among active players and is sixth all-time in SEC history in career three-pointers made.

Career scoring
1. Ronnie Williams – 2,090 points
2. Kenny Boynton – 2,006 points

Field goals made
1. Ronnie Williams – 772
4. Dwayne Schintzius – 695
5. Kenny Boynton – 658

Games played
1. Walter Hodge – 151
2. Erving Walker – 144
3. Kenny Boynton – 142 / Chandler Parsons / Alex Tyus
6. Chris Richard / Dan Werner – 141
8. Lee Humphrey – 136
9. Erik Murphy – 133

Free throws made
1. Ronnie Williams – 546
8. Dan Cross – 411
9. Kenny Boynton – 359

Assists
1. Erving Walker – 547
9. Taurean Green – 397
10. Kenny Boynton – 388

2013 NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET (South Region)
* As of Saturday evening at 11:59 p.m.

One Comment

  1. Ken (CA) says:

    Something just isn’t right in the world when you go from Erin as the sideline reporter to Otis…

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