If Florida can play like it did in the first half against Texas A&M in February, March, and April, the Gators might well win the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
That's how good the Gators were in racing out to an 18-2 lead and building a massive 50-25 halftime advantage en route to a 84-64 win over Texas A&M at the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise. A&M rallied in the second half, obviously, and the Gators went cold late before a 5-0 run to seal their victory, but for 20 minutes, Florida played better than even the more bullish observers of this team might have expected it to after almost a week off.
Even in that great first half, there was room for improvement: Florida's guards don't quite have "feed Patric Young" down just yet, the guards can still be too quick to chuck up deep shots and heat checks, and the front line of Young and Erik Murphy was not as effective underneath on offense as it could have been. But this would have been a great performance at home against Texas State; that it came at a "neutral" site against a Texas A&M team renowned for its defense makes it closer to tremendous.
Four Florida starters — Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker, Bradley Beal, and Erik Murphy — scored in double figures, and Young made both of his measly two shots. Boynton led all scorers with 22 points, 18 of them on six threes, and continued a hot streak that has made him one of the nation's best players. The Gators made 23 of 30 free throws and sank 11 of 30 threes.