For the third consecutive year, the Gators men’s basketball team is set to tipoff in hopes to advance to the Elite Eight. This year’s opponent however is a little different from years past. In the 75 years of the NCAA tournament, Florida Gulf Coast is the first 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16. Gators head coach Billy Donovan speaks very highly of this Eagles team.
FGCU is 26-10 on the season and coming out of the Atlantic Sun conference with a 13-5 record. As a team, Gulf Coast is shooting 46 percent from the field which ranks them 49 in the nation but in their last two games in the tournament, have shot 50 percent.
The Eagles have three players scoring in double figures with senior guard Sherwood Brown leading the team with 15 points per game followed by sophomore guard Bernard Thompson with 14 points on 49 percent shooting from the floor.
Sophomore guard Brett Comer averages six assists a game; ranking him 17th in the nation in the regular season. So far in the tournament, Comer is averaging 12 assists per game, ranking him first. Donovan believes this Gulf Coast team shows tremendous balance.
This will be just the second meeting between these two teams. Florida won the only match up 94-60 in Gainesville back in December of 2008. The Gators, with Donovan in charge, are 25-1 against current Atlantic Sun teams.
Under Donovan, UF enters its 13th NCAA tournament with a 30-10 record and have won five consecutive NCAA regional semifinal games and boast a 5-1 record in the round.
Florida is shooting 48 percent from the field, ranking them eighth in the nation. They’re scoring around 72 points per contest and holding opponents to around 53 points; ranking them second in the nation in scoring defense. The Gators scoring margin is +18.2; the best in the country.
Four members on this UF squad are scoring in double digits with senior forward Erik Murphy and senior guard Kenny Boynton leading the team with 12 points a game. Seven out of eight players who log in more than 15 minutes a game are shooting over 44 percent from the floor.
Be sure to catch all the live coverage of tonight’s game starting at 9:25 p.m. on our sister station, Country 103.7 The Gator.