Fastbreak: (1) Florida outclasses (9) Pittsburgh 61-45; Gators advance to fourth-straight Sweet 16

The (1) Florida Gators (34-2) got back to their dominant ways on Saturday afternoon, outclassing the (9) Pittsburgh Panthers (26-10) in the 2014 NCAA Tournament Round of 32 at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL. The Gators advanced to their fourth-straight Sweet 16 with a 61-45 victory over the Panthers.

OnlyGators.com breaks it all down with eight quick-hitters:

It was over when: Florida was already leading by 10 with 90 seconds left to play when senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin attacked the hoop and finished an up-and-under layup to vault the Gators ahead by 12 points. Wilbekin was responsible for 13 of Florida’s 15 points in a span of 6:51 at one point during the second half with the aforementioned layup the last of eight-straight points he scored for UF.

Prominent player: Wilbekin scored a team-high 21 points for the Gators despite struggling throughout almost the entire first half. He posted 16 points in the final 20:01 of the game and was the main reason that Florida was able to pull away for a decisive victory. He was 9-for-15 from the field and also grabbed three boards, dished two assists and swiped a pair of steals.

Significant stretch: Florida pieced together a 7-0 run early in the second half to jump up 10 points after going toe-to-toe with Pittsburgh for nearly the entire first 20 minutes of the game. The Gators never trailed again and maintained their advantage over the duration of the contest, leading by double-digits most of the time.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.

Continue Reading » Fastbreak: (1) Florida outclasses (9) Pittsburgh 61-45; Gators advance to fourth-straight Sweet 16

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Donovan talks one-seed, free throws, distractions

Head coach Billy Donovan spoke with the media on Monday, less than a day after his Florida Gators (32-2) were rewarded for their tremendous season up to this point with the No. 1 overall seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

Florida will play its first game in second-round action on Thursday at 4:10 p.m. on TBS from the Amway Center in Orlando, FL against a 16-seed play-in team. Albany and Mount Saint Marys square off on Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. in Dayton, OH in a First Four game that will air live nationally on truTV.

OVERALL NO. 1 FOR THE SECOND TIME

Most statistics about the 2013 Florida football team ended in a negative fashion with “since 1979;” Gators basketball is experiencing the opposite phenomenon with all of its positive records concluding with “since 2007.” The latest has to do with UF earning the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time…since 2007, which is also the last year Florida swept the Southeastern Conference Championships, advanced to the Final Four and won a national title.

“That’s probably a reflection of what’s happened from November all the way to here in March,” said Donovan about the seed. “Once the brackets are out and you’re playing, seedings and things like that, players aren’t thinking about that. They’re thinking about playing and competing and playing to the best of their ability.”

The difference between 2007 and 2014 is that the Gators knew their first opponent seven years ago, when they faced Jackson State. This time, Florida has to deal with the expanded 68-team field and will not learn about the victor of the play-in game set to be held on Tuesday night.

Continue Reading » Donovan talks one-seed, free throws, distractions

Tags: , , , , , , ,