The Gators will be headed to Atlanta next weekend to participate in the 2007 NCAA Final Four -- the program's second-straight appearance in the illustrious field after only appearing twice in their history prior to last season.
This is truly a great time to be a Gators' basketball fan. We will be once again watching this team play in the final weekend, including having a shot at being the first repeat champions in quite some time.
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
Today saw the Gators take on the most dangerous of their possible opponents out of the Midwest bracket -- beating them 85-77 thanks to great perimeter shooting (Hump and Green combine for 44), a huge rebounding margin (Jo had 14) and by getting the free-throw line by taking it to the hoop with aggressive force (they shot 43 FTs).
The Ducks have nothing to be ashamed of; They ran into a better team today, and gave it their best shot. Unfortunately for them this Florida team is once again out to prove they may be the best team in the country overall.
Nothing will come easy from here on out. Nothing at all. Every one of the four teams in this field have an equal shot of winning this championship in my opinion. It will all come down to execution, heart and a will to win.
Now it's time to sit back and bask in the recent success of our favorite college basketball program right now. It's been a very fun ride over the last couple seasons, and all you can do is look back and feel very good about it as a fan.
We have all week to think about the Final Four. And the team does as well. There will be plenty of time for us to discuss the games next weekend, as there will be plenty of time for the coaching staff and players to prepare for the UCLA Bruins.
Cutting down nets has become a custom for this group of Gators; But there is a bigger net to cut down, and we're all well aware of that.
More tomorrow afternoon on this win.
** On a sidenote: Anyone notice Ole Miss running through the women's tournament into the elite eight? Yeah, their coach is Carol Ross -- former Gators head coach. Perhaps we should see her back on the Gators bench next season coaching up the ladies on the hardwood? Just a thought.
Sidenote #2: The Gators baseball team swept the #21 Auburn Tigers over the weekend. Good job bouncing back from last weekend's series against Mississippi State. Hopefully this will light a fire under 'em that can last throughout.