For the native Floridian who is also a Gators fan or a UF student/alum, wins over Florida State are the sweetest of all wins. Not only is it putting the younger brother in his place, sort of, it's a reminder that there but for the grace of our hard work and superior educational resumes go we.
Beating the 2011 version of Florida State, as the 2011 version of Florida did last night, 82-64, in an impressive runaway, is also a reminder that there but for the grace of Billy Donovan go we. Florida State's sort of a mirror image of Florida, in that its defense was and is astoundingly disciplined and its offense disjointed at best; flip offense and defense, and you get Florida at its best and worst.
But Florida State doesn't have Bradley Beal — 21 points to lead all scorers, and with just four threes swelling that number — or Patric Young, who had 15 points on seven shot attempts, all makes, and the most ridiculous block we're likely to see in college basketball this season, much less Kenny Boynton, or Erik Murphy, or Erving Walker.
Florida outrebounded Florida State, and had more assists than turnovers, and tallied 12 steals. The Gators made 10 threes, again, and made 16 of 24 free throws after missing their first seven shots from the line; they did all that, and accomplished a whole host of neat things while handing FSU its biggest loss in the series since 2001. And this team isn't operating at peak efficiency yet. I am having rational, reasoned conversations with friends about the Final Four now, and I love that.
The view from behind the basket is insane.