Gators Atlanta Bound Again!
Inside, outside, early, late. It doesn't matter how Florida does it.Â At tournament time, nobody can beat the Gators these days.Â Â Joakim Noah andÂ company are heading back to the Final Four, looking for a second straight national championship that was worth more to them than NBA millions.
Lee Humphrey made seven 3-pointers and finished with 23 points, and Taurean Green added 21 to lead the Gators to an 85-77 victory over third-seeded Oregon in the Midwest Regional final Sunday afternoon. It was their 16th straight postseason victory, a stretch that includes one national championship and two Southeastern Conference titles.
Next stop for the top-seeded Gators: Atlanta, where they'll play UCLA in the national semifinals in a rematch of last year's championship Game.
Florida won that one in a rout, 73-57, for its first national championship - and the first half of what would turn out to be the Gator Slam. When Florida beat Ohio State for the national football title in January, the Gators became the first school to be champs in both sports at the same time.
Now Florida (33-5) would like to win both crowns in the same calendar year. And make a little history as the first team since Duke in 1991-92 to win back-to-back basketball titles - and the first ever to do it with the same five starters.
The Gators have yet to play their best - or even a consistent - game in the NCAA tournament. They've had to come from behind in each game, and have yet to get a dominant performance from both their big guys and guards at the same time.
Â But make no mistake, a regional title isn't why Noah, Horford and Corey Brewer - all certain to be lottery picks, with Noah the likely No. 1 - put their NBA millions on hold last spring.Â Â They want another title, and anything less will be a bitter disappointment.
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