Florida Basketball Sweet 16 Bound

The Florida men’s basketball knocked off the Minnesota Golden Gophers 78-64 Sunday night to advance to the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive year.

The Gators took advantage of an explosive first half. Florida shot 80 percent in the first half and were leading by 21 at halftime. Overall, UF shot 56 percent from the field and 50 percent from the three-point line. The Golden Gophers shot 40 percent from the field and 44 percent from three.

Florida head coach Billy Donovan said he knew Minnesota would come back out with more purpose in the second half.

Florida senior guard Mike Rosario lead the team with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor and 6-of-9 from behind the arc. Rosario said that he wanted to take advantage of his opportunities.

The Gators also saw senior forward Erik Murphy contribute with 15 points, and junior guard Scottie Wilbekin added 12 points and six assists. Minnesota had four players score in double figures, led by sophomore guard Andre Hollins as he dropped 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting while going 6-of-10 from three point land.

Florida will collide with Florida Gulf Coast on Friday night in the Sweet 16. The Eagles are the first 15-seed to advance to the Sweet 16 after defeating San Diego State 81-71.

FGCU head coach Andy Enfield said that a mid-major school can win and has nothing but respect for Florida basketball.

Florida Gulf Coast is the first team to win at least two games in its first men’s basketball championship appearance since Florida in 1987. The Gators and Eagles will face off on Friday night in Cowboys Stadium.

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