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March 27, 2014

Instant Analysis: Florida is 'Elite' again



The NCAA Tournament's No. 1 overall seed is headed to its fourth consecutive Elite Eight. This time, Florida (35-2) will only fail to advance to the Final Four if it falls prey to a monumental upset. The Gators defeated the No. 4 seed UCLA Bruins (28-9) 79-68 in the Thursday nightcap of the Memphis Regional. Instant Analysis takes a look.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: Scottie Wilbekin played a rough 33 minutes and then took over, as he has all season, when the Gators needed it most. The Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and team MVP scored eight of his 13 points in the game's final seven minutes. Unsurprisingly, his run coincided with Florida icing the game.

HE STOLE THE SHOW: Billy Donovan called Michael Frazier II's struggles in Orlando one of the greatest learning experiences the sophomore could ever experience. Thursday night might have proved him right. Frazier was fuego from beyond the arc in two critical parts of the game, first to build a lead in the first half and then to stretch that lead in the second half. He finished 5 for 8 from 3-point range with 19 points, three assists and six rebounds.

THE STAT DOESN'T LIE: Ball movement was key for the Gators against a Bruins team that spent a majority of the game trying to force outside shots with a zone defense. Florida finished the game with 29 made buckets and 22 assists. By comparison, UCLA had 11 assists.

WHAT A PLAY: Florida's five-star freshmen didn't flinch on their biggest stage yet. Chris Walker rattled his second free throw of the day off the rim but immediately showed the awareness coaches have tried to instill in him since December. He immediately cut to the basket, corralling the missed shot and dropping it in for an unorthodox 3-point play. Walker finished with seven points, five rebounds and one block in seven minutes. Kasey Hill had a team- and career-high 10 assists and five rebounds to go along with six points in 27 minutes.

THE BOTTOM LINE: For as much as four seniors have drawn headlines, the true story of the Gators all year has been a wide array of pieces that can step up at any time and ensure Florida doesn't rely too heavily on any one group of players. It was a shaky night overall for the seniors. Wilbekin went 2 for 10 from the field before his aforementioned run. Patric Young and Casey Prather had trouble finding the floor in the second half with foul trouble. Only Will Yeguete - eight points, seven rebounds - lived up the Florida standard throughout the night. But thanks in large part to Hill and Frazier, the Gators advanced. Florida's strength continues to come in its completeness more than its dominance.

UP NEXT: Florida advances to an Elite Eight matchup with resident underdog and No. 11 seed Dayton (26-10) on Saturday. The Flyers defeated No. 10 seed Stanford 82-72 in the Memphis Regional's first game of the night. It is their first trip to the Elite Eight since 1984.


Official Basketball Box Score
UCLA vs Florida
3/27/14 9:15 p.m. at Memphis, Tenn. (FedExForum)


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VISITORS: UCLA 28-9
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
12 Wear, David......... f  2-3    2-3    1-2    1  5  6   2   7  1  2  0  1  24
24 Wear, Travis........ f  6-12   0-3    2-2    0  2  2   3  14  1  0  2  1  30
03 Adams, Jordan....... g  7-15   1-5    2-3    2  2  4   3  17  2  0  1  2  28
04 Powell, Norman...... g  3-8    0-1    2-2    1  2  3   4   8  1  1  0  2  31
05 Anderson, Kyle...... g  4-11   0-1    3-3    2  7  9   3  11  5  3  0  2  31
14 LaVine, Zach........    2-7    0-3    1-1    0  2  2   1   5  0  1  0  0  24
20 Alford, Bryce.......    1-5    0-2    0-0    0  0  0   0   2  2  0  0  0  21
22 Allen, Noah.........    0-0    0-0    0-1    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
23 Parker, Tony........    2-3    0-0    0-1    1  2  3   3   4  0  1  1  0  10
   TEAM................                         1     1
   Totals..............   27-64   3-18  11-15   8 22 30  19  68 12  8  4  8 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-25 44.0%   2nd Half: 16-39 41.0%   Game: 42.2%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-6  33.3%   2nd Half:  1-12  8.3%   Game: 16.7%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  6-8  75.0%   2nd Half:  5-7  71.4%   Game: 73.3%    2


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HOME TEAM: Florida 35-2
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 Yeguete, Will....... f  4-5    0-0    0-0    0  7  7   1   8  1  0  0  1  19
24 Prather, Casey...... f  3-5    0-0    6-8    1  2  3   4  12  1  3  2  0  19
04 Young, Patric....... c  2-4    0-0    0-1    1  2  3   4   4  0  2  0  0  20
05 Wilbekin, Scottie... g  5-13   2-8    1-1    0  1  1   0  13  3  0  0  1  35
20 Frazier, Michael.... g  7-13   5-8    0-0    1  5  6   1  19  3  3  0  1  36
00 Hill, Kasey.........    2-4    0-0    2-2    1  5  6   1   6 10  2  0  0  28
10 Finney-Smith, Dorian    3-8    1-4    3-4    1  5  6   2  10  4  2  1  1  30
23 Walker, Chris.......    3-5    0-0    1-2    3  0  3   2   7  0  0  1  0   6
25 Walker, DeVon.......    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  1  0   7
   TEAM................                         2  3  5
   Totals..............   29-58   8-21  13-18  10 30 40  15  79 22 12  5  4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-31 41.9%   2nd Half: 16-27 59.3%   Game: 50.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-13 38.5%   2nd Half:  3-8  37.5%   Game: 38.1%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  5-9  55.6%   2nd Half:  8-9  88.9%   Game: 72.2%   2,1


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Officials: Leslie Jones, Terry Wymer, Lamont Simpson
Technical fouls: UCLA-None. Florida-Prather, Casey.
Attendance: 14991
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
UCLA..........................   30   38  -   68
Florida.......................   36   43  -   79

Points in the paint-UCLA 32,UF 36. Points off turnovers-UCLA 19,UF 10.
2nd chance points-UCLA 7,UF 12. Fast break points-UCLA 15,UF 13.
Bench points-UCLA 11,UF 23. Score tied-3 times. Lead changed-5 times.
Last FG-UCLA 2nd-00:28, UF 2nd-00:26.
Largest lead-UCLA by 4 1st-18:06, UF by 12 2nd-00:36.


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