Two games to go. That's all.
That is what's standing between this Gators basketball team and their chance at being remembered as back-to-back champions for some time down the line -- also bringing the University of Florida its third national championship (in football and basketball) in less than one year's span.
This won't be easy, of course. Three great college basketball teams stand in their way: UCLA, Ohio State and Georgetown. And they all have something to prove.
Georgetown? The Gators knocked them out of the tournament in 2006 in a very close game.
Ohio State? They were embarassed by 26 points in Gainesville earlier this season.
UCLA? The Bruins fell to the Gators in their bid for championship number 12 last April.
Florida is the defending champion. They won it last year for a reason. They played with heart, determination and most importantly as a team on their way to the prize. That same group of five starters is on the brink again -- it's time to bring back the magic of last year's run.
Will it be enough, though? UCLA is much improved from last season's title game. Georgetown has gotten better since last season's tournament. The Buckeyes were an inexperienced group of young players playing in a very hostile environment back in December. All of these teams have something to prove, all of them will give the Gators their best shot, and it will ultimately be up to this squad as to whether or not they can overcome it.
Play your game, Gators, and it will be very tough for any of these three teams to beat you.
But at the same time these others are thinking the same thing. They're all playing in Atlanta for a reason, and each had to overcome obstacles to get here.
Let's bring back the magic from the 2006 run. Let's bring another title to Gainesville.
** Site Note: there should be content up at Swamp Ball over the next few days during the Final Four - coming from someone else since I won't be able to access the computer very much over the weekend. Stay tuned.