The number one team in the country just did what the number one team is supposed to do. The top-seeded Florida Gators defeated the UCLA Bruins in Memphis 79-68 to move on to the Elite 8. Nothing flashy, just efficient basketball.
The Gators played great team basketball with 4 different players scoring in double-figures. Sophomore Guard, Michael Frazier II, led the way with 19 points on 5-8 shooting from beyond the arc. His five three-point buckets were impressive considering the team itself only averaged less than seven threes a game this season.
UCLA, on the other hand, couldn’t buy a perimeter shot, shooting only 16.7% from outside. That prevented UCLA, in their unpopular alternate uniforms, from being able to mount any sustainable runs to take the lead. The Bruins also got out-rebounded by the Gators and only had 12 assists where Florida managed 22 assists on 29 made field goals.
For UCLA, Kyle Anderson could never get going and their seniors couldn’t match the intensity of the senior-laden Gators. Luckily there are some blues’ clubs on Beale Street for them to go and cope with this loss, and those uniforms.
For Florida, they will be playing in their 4th straight Elite 8, a rare feat. Billy Donovan showed again that he is one of the premier coaches in college basketball. His Gators will now face the upstart Dayton Fliers, led by young coaching star, Archie Miller. Their matchup to see who makes the Final Four should be an interesting one to watch. For now, Gator fans and Flier fans will be on Beale tonight celebrating and shaking their hips like Elvis.