NCAA Tournament Gameday: (3) Florida Gators vs. (15) Florida Gulf Coast Eagles

By Adam Silverstein
March 29, 2013

Location: Cowboys Stadium – Arlington, TX [Capacity: 42,614]
Time: 9:57 p.m. EDT

TV: TBS (Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Craig Sager)
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 (15) FGCU EAGLES
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: Andy Enfield
Record: 28-7 Record: 26-10
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Atlantic Sun
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -14 | O/U 136.5

PRE-GAME READING MATERIAL

» Story: While FGCU soaked up praise, Florida worked on getting better in Dallas
» Notes & Quotes: Florida and FGCU prepare for Sweet 16
» Notes & Quotes: Odds and ends from Florida Gators in Texas

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Florida is 30-10 in 13 NCAA Tournaments under Donovan and has reached at least the Elite Eight in four of the last seven (two national titles). The Gators advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third-straight year with a 78-64 win over Minnesota on Sunday. Florida advanced to the Elite Eight in each of its last five appearances in the Sweet 16. The Gators have not fallen in the Sweet 16 round of the tournament since 1999.
» UF is 1-0 all-time against FGCU (94-60 on Dec. 8, 2010).
» The Eagles (2-0) are currently the only undefeated team in NCAA Tournament history. FGCU is also the first 15-seed to win two games and advance to the Sweet 16.
» Enfield (as an assistant at Florida State) was 3-2 against Donovan in his five-year stint with Florida’s in-state rival.
» Florida is 53-7 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding opponents under 71 points in a game (27-6 in 2012-13).
» The Gators have four starters that average in double figures, while the Eagles have three including two that average more than 14.5 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 FGCU is 9-3.
» The Gators are ranked first nationally in scoring margin (+18.2), third in scoring defense (53.8), fifth in field goal defense (.378), eighth in field goal percentage (.482), 14th in three-pointers per game (8.4) and 24th in assist-turnover ratio (1.32). Florida is also eighth nationally in fouling (14.2) and 214th in free throw percentage (.681).
» The Eagles are 15th nationally in steals per game (9.0). FGCU is also 225th nationally in free throw percentage (.677).

Read the rest of the Florida-FGCU 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 Enfield. Florida boasts one of the most efficient offenses and top defenses in the nation and even has the size advantage in the game but will be looking to limit what FGCU does in transition. A victory would advance the Gators to the Elite Eight for the third-straight season, while a defeat would hand Florida as embarrassing a tournament loss as a team can be dealt.

» Junior point guard Scottie Wilbekin (#5) fuels the Gators’ defensive effort with his lockdown perimeter defense. Wilbekin is usually put on the opposing team’s best backcourt player and will have the same exact task on Friday. In addition to being a staunch defender, Wilbekin runs Florida’s offense at the point. He averages a team-high 32.2 minutes per game and leads the team by averaging 5.0 assists and 1.5 steals each contest. He also scores 9.2 points per game, grabs 2.9 rebounds and shoots a respectable 37.0 percent from downtown.

FLORIDA GULF COAST
The Eagles are currently on a magical run in the NCAA Tournament and are looking to continue making history by defeating their third-straight single-digit seed. FGCU used quick hands and a high-flying offense to take down two-seed Georgetown and seven-seed San Diego State. The Eagles are media darlings and fan favorites, which makes the Gators the villains in Friday’s contest, a role UF is not used to but likely embracing.

» Sophomore PG Brett Comer (#0), like Wilbekin, runs his team’s offense. His 6.6 assists per game (12 per game in the NCAA Tournament) come relatively easy as he dishes bounce passes in the lane and alley-oops at the rim for his teammates to finish. Comer has as good an eye as any point guard left in the tourney but is not necessarily a deft shooter. He averages 8.1 points per game while hitting 40.7 percent of his shots from the field and 26.0 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. Comer also averages a team-high 3.5 turnovers per contest.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

Senior guard Kenny 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 (972), field goal attempts (1,657), career starts (140) and minutes played (4,612). He currently leads the SEC in career points (2,013) 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 – 2,013 points

Field goals made
1. Ronnie Williams – 772
4. Dwayne Schintzius – 695
5. Kenny Boynton – 660

Games played
1. Walter Hodge – 151
2. Erving Walker – 144
3. Kenny Boynton – 143
4. Chandler Parsons / Alex Tyus – 142
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 – 361

Assists
1. Erving Walker – 547
9. Taurean Green – 397
10. Kenny Boynton – 389

2013 NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET (South Region)

One Comment

  1. Ken (CA) says:

    even ith a couple of seriuosly underperforming teams in the early part of last decade a 30-10 NCAA tourney record is incredibly impressive….

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