1 » No. 1 Florida Gators softball (50-6) earned the top national seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament and as such will host the Gainesville Regional at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, for the 13th consecutive season. Florida will see the Florida A&M Rattlers (18-37), Florida Atlantic Owls (37-17-1) and Hofstra Pride (37-12-1) come to town for the double-elimination tournament, which begins on Friday. The winner of the Gainesville Regional will face the victor from the South Bend Rgional, which features No. 16 Notre Dame, Kentucky, Northwestern and Ball State. The Gators are the defending 2014 NCAA Champions, capturing the first national title in program history.
Doubling up on league titles in its first season as a member of a new conference, Florida Gators lacrosse dominated the Connecticut Huskies 20-6 to win 2015 Big East Tournament.
Florida, which ended the regular season with an 11-10 loss to UConn in Storrs, Connecticut, found its way back into town for the tournament, routing Villanova 18-8 in the semifinals on Thursday before squaring off and earning a measure of revenge over the Huskies on Saturday. UF led 8-2 early and held on for the rout.
With football and basketball both in the spotlight and Florida Gators gymnastics winning a third straight NCAA National Championship last week, it was easy to overlook two other tremendous accomplishments made by Gators athletic programs in the form of regular-season league titles won this month.
A fast-paced, back-and-forth overtime period included plenty of ties and lead changes, the last of which was the Georgetown Hoyas (4-0) hitting a late jumper to edge the No. 18 Florida Gators (2-2) in the opening round of the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis at Imperial Arena in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Georgetown pulled off a 66-65 victory by making eight of its last nine field goals starting at 6:36 in the second half and ending with three seconds to play in the contest. Florida moved in to the loser’s bracket following its defeat.
OnlyGators.com breaks down Wednesday’s action with nine quick-hitters:
It was over when (overtime edition, again): After Paul White drained a triple to put Georgetown up four with 2:04 to play, Florida pushed ahead with a 6-1 run including a tip-in layup by redshirt senior center Jon Horford, a dunk and layup by redshirt junior forward Dorian Finney-Smith and a steal by redshirt junior guard Eli Carter (which created Finney-Smith’s layup). A clutch three-pointer by the Hoyas’ L.J. Peak put Georgetown up 64-62 with 30 seconds left, but sophomore point guard Kasey Hill responded out of a timeout by driving the lane and completing an old-school three-point play to push Florida ahead by one. It would not be enough, however, as D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera drained a jumper with three seconds remaining to send Georgetown to a one-point victory.
Prominent players: Smith-Rivera hit 7-of-14 shots for a game-high 17 points despite playing with four fouls in overtime. For the Gators, Finney-Smith led the way with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting even though he only played 28 minutes in the contest. He was also third on Florida’s roster with six rebounds.
Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Battle 4 Atlantis Fastbreak: Georgetown takes down No. 18 Florida 66-65 on late jumper in OT
Location: Imperial Arena – Paradise Island, Bahamas [Capacity: 3,500]
Time: 9:30 p.m. EST
TV: AXS TV (Kenny Rice, Seth Davis, Tom Walsh)
Channels: AT&T U-verse (1106), Cox (199), DirecTV (340), Dish Network (167), Verizon FiOS (569) [Other: Channel Finder]
Streaming Video: None | Mobile Video: None
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter
|No. 18 FLORIDA GATORS||GEORGETOWN HOYAS|
|Head Coach: Billy Donovan||Head Coach: John Thompson III|
|Record: 2-1||Record: 3-0|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Big East|
Odds: Florida +1 | O/U 127.5
KEEP UP WITH THE GATORS
Busy since the last game? Miss a feature, story or post on OnlyGators.com? No worries. Catch up on what you forgot to check out via the links below!
1 » Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jaylen Watkins and New England Patriots guard Jon Halapio, both third-day selections in the 2014 NFL Draft, signed rookie contracts with their respective teams on Monday. There is already talk that Watkins may be able to push for a starting cornerback job at some point this season, though Philadelphia’s plan right now is to work him out at corner, nickel and safety in order to figure out how he can contribute the most from the get-go. Halapio is expected to start out as a reserve in New England, which is trying to strengthen its offensive line this offseason. OnlyGators.com will post full stories on each signing once it is able to obtain the detailed contract information for the players.
Despite being overwhelming favorites and the team with the BCS pedigree, the No. 3 Florida Gators (11-2) were blasted on Wednesday evening by the No. 21 Louisville Cardinals (11-2), which pulled off a 33-23 upset victory at the 2013 Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA.
Louisville scored on the first play from scrimmage of each half, overwhelmed Florida’s defense throughout the game and capitalized on each one of its opponent’s miscues to pull off the greatest victory in program history and biggest upset in BCS bowl game history. The Gators also snapped their streak of four-straight bowl wins and fell in a BCS game for the first time since 2000.
Florida put itself in an early hole on the very first play from scrimmage as sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel’s pass was tipped off the hands of redshirt junior wide receiver Andre Debose only to be intercepted by Louisville cornerback Terrell Floyd and returned for a touchdown just 15 seconds into the game. The defensive score was the Cardinals’ first of the season.
The Gators then went three-and-out on the ensuing possession and allowed UL QB Teddy Bridgewater to convert three third downs before running back Jeremy Wright carried the ball in for a one-yard touchdown. The 12-play, 83-yard drive ended with 6:47 left in the first quarter and gave UF its largest deficit of the season.
Event: 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome – New Orleans, LA [Capacity: 72,589]
Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
Tickets: Best deals on Florida Gators tickets starting at $47 on TiqIQ
TV: ESPN / ESPNHD / ESPN3D (Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Quint Kessenich)
SiriusXM: 84 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper
|No. 3 FLORIDA GATORS||No. 21 LOUISVILLE CARDINALS|
|Head Coach: Will Muschamp||Head Coach: Charlie Strong|
|Record: 11-1||Record: 10-2|
|Conference: Southeastern||Conference: Big East|
|Roster | Schedule||Roster | Schedule|
Odds: Florida -14 | O/U: 47.5
HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» Florida is 2-0 all-time against Louisville with the meetings occurring in Gainesville, FL in 1980 (W 13-0) and 1992 (W 31-17).
» The Gators have won four-straight bowl games (a school record) and hold a 20-19 all-time record in such contests. UF has appeared in 22 consecutive bowl games and made the most appearances in January bowl games (19) since 1993 as well as the most consecutive January bowl game appearances (eight).
» Florida is 5-1 in BCS bowl games and has won four-straight dating back to 2001. Winning a sixth would tie UF with USC and Ohio State for most BCS wins since the system began in 1998.
» The Gators are 3-5 all-time in the Sugar Bowl with appearances in 1965 (L), 1974 (L), 1991 (L), 1993 (W), 1994 (L), 1996 (W), 2000 (L) and 2009 (W).
» The Cardinals are making their first-ever Sugar Bowl appearance and second BCS bowl appearance. Louisville will be playing in a bowl game for the 17th time.
» Florida is looking to finish with 12+ wins for just the sixth time in school history.
» The Gators went 4-1 against teams currently in the BCS top 12.
» UF currently boasts the No. 1 ranked strength of schedule nationally.
» Florida finished 7-0 at home in a season for just the third time in school history. The 2006 and 2009 UF teams also accomplished that feat.
» The Gators are 4-6 against ranked teams under Muschamp but 4-1 in that category this season with wins over Tennessee, LSU, South Carolina and Florida State.
» Florida was 0-5 when trailing at the half in 2011 but has flipped that around and is 4-1 in 2012 in that category with all four victories vs. SEC opponents (two ranked).
» The Gators are 12-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards and 1-5 when rushing for fewer than 100 yards. UF is also 14-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points, 10-1 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards, 12-3 when scoring first and 14-1 when leading at the half.
» Florida ranks first nationally in pass efficiency defense (91.5), third in scoring defense (12.9 points), fourth in third-down defense (.283), fifth in total defense (282.6 yards) and sixth in rush defense (96.6 yards).
» The 12.9 points per game allowed by the Gators defense is the lowest average since 1964 (9.8) despite facing three top-25 total offenses.
» Florida is +17 in turnover margin (fifth nationally) after being -12 in 2011 (113th). The 12 turnovers lost by UF Is the fewest for the program since at least 1949.
» The Gators have grabbed 19 interceptions, more than doubling its 2011 total of eight. UF has grabbed at least one pick in nine games and has forced nine fumbles.
» Florida is averaging 33:07 in time of possession through 12 games, a margin that ranks sixth nationally and first in the SEC by 1:18 per game.
» The Gators have at least two kickoff returns for touchdowns in each of the last two seasons after never having more than one in a single season before 2010. UF has not yet registered a kick return (or punt return) in 2012.
» Florida is seventh nationally in net punt average (40.7 yards per punt).
» Louisville is No. 1 nationally in red zone efficiency, converting 48-of-50 (.960) opportunities into scores including 34 touchdowns on 50 total drives (.680).
» The Cardinals are 14th nationally in passing efficiency (154.84) and third-down efficiency (.485).
» The Gators will wear blue jerseys and orange pants in the game. It is the first time Florida will be donning that uniform combination since the 1999 Florida State game.
Read about the injuries and absences and much more…after the break!
Continue Reading » Gameday: 2013 Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA) – No. 3 Florida Gators vs. No. 21 Louisville Cardinals