Florida 71, Virginia 45: Gators Dominate Second Half In NCAA Tournament Win

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 16: Bradley Beal #23 of the Florida Gators drives in the first half against Jontel Evans #1 of the Virginia Cavaliers during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 16, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The Florida Gators outscored the Virginia Cavaliers 41-23 in the second half in route to their opening round win (I guess, technically second round) in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Gators won 71-45 and with that score held the Cavaliers to their lowest point total in NCAA Tournament history.

Playing like a team who thought they were undervalued by the selection committee, the Gators really were never in any danger. They also look like a team that is figuring out their stride after the loss of Will Yeguete.

Bradley Beal led the way for the Gators with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Casey Prather, who set a career-high with 14 points, was a most pleasant surprise. Overall though, the shooting really wasn't there. Actually, the shooting wasn't really there for either team.

The Gators shot 17% (4-23) from beyond the arc and 52% (28-53) overall. The Cavaliers were much worse, and that was a good thing. The Cavs shot 38% (18-47) overall and 16% (3-18) from three-point land. The only player who showed up for the Cavs was senior Mike Scott who ended up with 15 points and 6 rebounds.

In terms of rebounding, it wasn't even close. The Gators won that battle by by fifteen (36-21) and were almost up by twenty at one point. The free-throw, foul, steal and turnover battles were also all won by the Gators. In fact, the Cavs only had an advantage over the Gators in assists and blocks. They had one block (the Gators had none) and they had 11 assists as a team whereas the Gators had 10.

Other notable performers for the Gators were: Patric Young (13 points and 7 rebounds), Erving Walker (9 points and 4 rebounds) and Kenny Boynton (8 points and 5 rebounds).

The Gators will play the winner of the Missouri - Norfolk State game on Sunday at a time that is to be determined. The Tigers and Spartans are scheduled to tipoff at 4:40 p.m. later today on TNT. A possible match-up with Missouri is sure to be interesting to some as the Tigers are scheduled to join the Southeastern Conference later this year.

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