The last time Florida met Florida Gulf Coast, a whole lot more was on the line than will be this Friday evening (6:30 p.m., SEC Network or WatchESPN).
That was the 2013 NCAA Tournament's Sweet Sixteen, when the Eagles were everyone's Cinderella, and establishing the fiefdom of Dunk City. But Florida brought that run to an end with a 62-50 victory. And things have changed in important ways since then: Neither head coach who was on the sideline on that will be in the building on Friday night, and Filip Cvjeticanin is the only player on either side who played in that game and will suit up this evening.
Mike White's pressing style is different from the version of Florida's defense that smothered the Eagles on that night, but it's still very good, with John Egbunu providing better rim protection. And Joe Dooley's not quite as keen on running and running as Andy Enfield was back then — plus, his team's seemingly a whole lot worse. FGCU is 3-2, but just 2-2 against Division I competition, and it took triple overtime for them to hold off Youngstown State. Neither the Eagles' offense nor defense is in the top 250 of adjusted efficiency according to KenPom, either.
This should be a relatively easy win for Florida, basically. Cinderella ain't around anymore. But if the Gators aren't primed to gorge on post-Thanksgiving leftovers, this could be a painful game, given how Florida's struggled when it isn't making shots.