Florida's 2013 NCAA Tournament run begins in Austin, Texas on Friday night, with the No. 3 Gators taking on No. 14 Northwestern State in a South Regional round of 64 matchup. And the Gators will need to control the tempo.
Northwestern State leads Division I in points and possessions per game, and even if that tempo is somewhat misleading, the Demons are very capable of pushing pace, and unlikely to ever be out of it against Florida, with the ability to sub in fresh players in waves and the potential to go on runs.
But Florida has the ability to keep Northwestern State from ever really being in it, with superb shooting and defense, and if Florida can get the game to settle in the half court, it bodes well for Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy, and Mike Rosario, who are all looking to extend their Florida careers.
The game is on TruTV, and is scheduled to tip at 7:27 p.m. Eastern, but you probably don't get TruTV, so you're going to want to find a bar or pull up the March Madness Live site to stream it. I'll be watching and tweeting along, but comments here may be scarce — I'm away from home for this one.