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Gators join nation's Elite with win over BYU

Not the best of performances against a team that was essentially Jimmer Fredette & Friends, but Florida's 83-74 overtime win against BYU puts it in the Elite 8 and ONE win away from the Final Four. I don't care how strongly tinted your orange-and-blue shades are or how seriously you bought into this team's preseason hype -- looking at things at this point is damned impressive.

Yes, the Gators' road to Houston was paved with gold, as they snatched a tenuous 2-seed, had top dogs Pitt lose to Butler and got to face BYU without sexytime suspended forward Brandon Davies (I made this joke on Twitter but think it needs repeating: Is Davies the first athlete in history you can taunt by saying, "Hey, why don't you go have sex with your girlfriend again?") BUT, this is March Madness, and getting to the Elite 8 is not easy, much less a Final Four. The Gators are poised to do that now after surviving Fredette's 32 points and winning in an extra period that turned out to be pretty easy.

Kenny Boynton and Scottie Wilbekin did a pretty good job on Fredette despite that point total. He didn't score until late in the first half and didn't hit a three until the second, and while he got his points, they weren't easy, and that was kind of the plan anyway. No other Cougar scored in double figures (UF had four), depriving them of the support they got via Michael Loyd's 26 bench points in last year's win against Florida.

Two things stood out to me. First: Erving Walker's rebound near the end of regulation. Boynton missed a three with 25 seconds left, meaning Fredette could have had the ball for a final shot (I can see Billy Donovan screaming "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" in slow motion). Instead, Walker, who said he was supposed to be getting back down the other end for defense after the shot, took off toward the corner and corralled it. Chandler Parsons couldn't connect on his game-winner attempt, but the possession ran out the clock and kept Jimmer from doing something terrifying (like that three he nailed in the second half where he pulled up from Drew Brees' house and gave his Mormon fans the jolt of energy they've learned to survive on in lieu of caffeine).

The other thing was Alex Tyus. Where the hell did that come from? Nineteen points and 17 rebounds, a crazy shot block that came halfway up the backboard, and no huge mistakes in crunchtime. Honestly, that's the kind of game he should be having more often considering the fact that he's usually the best athlete on the floor, but Donovan will probably just take it when he can get it. If Tyus flips a switch and keeps that up while the other starters are playing well, the Gators suddenly get a lot more dangerous.

At the end of the day, Florida barely snuck by a smaller, less-talented squad tonight. The Gators should have been pounding the ball inside and using their size early rather than jacking up threes from all over the floor, but whatever. They figured things out late and got the win, and that's more than can be said for plenty of good teams who have already lost in this tournament.

Most importantly, they live to play another game, and they're in a spot plenty of great teams would kill to be in.


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Here we go again ...

U too, but in the opposite direction .

See U Saturday .

What U doing ?

going to Lockhardt to watch some futbal ?

uf, always a brides maid, not the bride. Hmmm, I wonder what the excuses will be this weekend.

Hey Curse of Steve Addazio, get off our blog, and get out of your mom's basement in Kendall, every now and then. Why do you care so much about UF? Oh yeah, because you have a small wee wee and you're full of envy because you went to MDCC, like the rest of you Cane trolls.

There certainly was a curse of Steve Addazio, but it has moved north. What are those people at Temple University smoking?

Florida Gators have never lost an elite 8 game.

Overall 4-0.

Too many 3's too many out of control turnovers, and too many soft pass turnovers. They better not do that in the next game.

Leave it to curse to talk about bridesmaids, when the Gators are the only team in the state to win a title or 2 in basketball!!

blah blah blah, the excuses are coming, they always do for the lowly gator fans.

rico douchee, still driving your 1989 BMW, spending more money than you make and tons of credit card debt. Good thing your mom let you use her computer in her double wide.

I suppose Kentucky sucks too riiiet Cane fan ?

(like that three he nailed in the second half where he pulled up from Drew Brees' house and gave his Mormon fans the jolt of energy they've learned to survive on in lieu of caffeine).

LOL..you had me at Drew Brees. Great work my sports stalking friend.

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