ORLANDO -- The top-seeded Gators waved farewell to the Sunshine State in style Saturday afternoon, smothering 9th-seeded Pittsburgh into submission for a 61-45 victory in front of a sellout, pro-Gators crowd inside the Amway Center.
“How sweet it is,” assistant coach Matt McCall shouted in the locker room.
Florida won its 28th straight game, punching its fourth consecutive ticket to the Sweet 16.
The Gators will face the winner of Sunday’s game between 4th-seed UCLA and 12th-seed Stephen F. Austin on Thursday in Memphis, Tenn.
Here's some notable quotes from the locker room.
"We weren't going to let them to play harder than us.”
-- Senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin, who paced Florida with a game-high 21 points.
“At this point I’m happy to get out this gym. That’s the name of the game though. Some shots are going to go in. Some aren’t. I took good shots tonight. I can’t control whether the ball goes in or not because if I could every shot would go in.”
-- Sophomore shooting guard Michael Frazier II, on shooting just 4-for-15 in two games at Amway Arena
“When you have a guy like that you just give him the ball and move out of his way. ... He was hot. He gave us an offensive boost. We needed it.”
-- Frazier, on Wilbekin's big night.
"I thought our defense in particular, both halves it was good, but I thought in the second half it really, really was good, and these guys did a really terrific job from start to finish."
-- Gators coach Billy Dononvan, on UF's splendid defensive effort.
"The three they hit was one of those things that could've easily been prevented if he would've executed what coach (Jamie Dixon) wanted. Coach wanted us to foul him before he could get close to taking a shot."
-- Panthers forward Michael Young, on Wilbekin's running, halftime buzzer-beater.
"Florida is the most physical team we've play all year. They beat us on the glass and beat us to loose balls. We have to give them credit."
-- Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon, on UF's hustle.
"If we would’ve brought [UF's relentless hustle] to the first game would’ve been drastically different. Our mindset, effort, focus on the defensive end was just unprecedented. That’s how we want to be every single night."
-- Florida center Patric Young, on UF's relentless hustle
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