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March 29, 2014

Instant Analysis: Final Four bound



Florida's senior-laden squad is headed to the one arena it has left untouched during a four-year period that has seen everything else accomplished. The top-seeded Gators (36-2) defeated the No. 11 seed Dayton Flyers (26-11) 62-52 Saturday evening in Memphis. They are now two wins away from a national championship. Instant Analysis takes a look.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: The magic wore off for the "feel-good" underdog story of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Dayton put together runs and fought valiantly but never recovered from a 19-3 run that ended the first half and was capped by a Scottie Wilbekin 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Flyers took stabs at it but never got closer than eight points.

HE STOLE THE SHOW: When Florida needs big moments, it dials up Wilbekin. It was Wilbekin who scored 11 points during a 19-3 UF run that ended the first half and blew the game open. And Wilbekin who hit a 3-pointer to end a 6-0 Dayton run with six minutes left in the game. The Gators' best player all season was no different in the Elite Eight. He finished with 23 points and three assists.

THE STAT DOESN'T LIE: Dayton was deep but Florida was simply bigger and better than its mid-major opponent. Knowing its advantage in the frontcourt, the Gators played the percentages game doubling down in the paint and daring the Flyers to shoot from distance. It worked. Eight of Dayton's 19 made shots were from 3-point range. Florida outscored Dayton 24-18 in the paint, but held an18-6 advantage in the first half. The Gators had 13 second-chance points to the Flyers' one. Patric Young was a glaring mismatch and finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

WHAT A PLAY: A three-possession sequence in the first half showed everything the Gators are about. Casey Prather hit the lane for a bucket as he contorted his body. At the other end, Will Yeguete crashed down on a guard expecting an easy layup and smashed a block from behind to begin a transition bucket by Prather, assist Kasey Hill. The freshman finished with three assists in 13 minutes. Prather had six points and seven rebounds.

THE BOTTOM LINE: It never quite became as easy as it looked like it might be during the final moments of the first half, but Florida exorcised its Elite Eight demons and advances to its fifth Final Four in school history. Credit a gutsy effort from an overmatched Dayton squad. The Flyers never gave in and even had a brief moment of late life when the Gators went cold from the field (missing 15 of 16 shots) in the game's waning moments. But it would take much more than a brief slump or an eager opponent to keep the UF win streak from extending to 30.

UP NEXT: Florida plays the winner of Sunday's game between No. 4 seed Michigan State (29-8) and No. 7 seed Connecticut (29-8) next Saturday in Arlington, Texas, at the Final Four.


Official Basketball Box Score
Dayton vs Florida
3/29/14 5:09 p.m. at Memphis, Tenn. (FedExForum)


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VISITORS: Dayton 26-11
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 OLIVER,Devin........ f  4-9    4-7    0-0    0  6  6   3  12  0  0  2  1  29
21 PIERRE, Dyshawn..... f  7-11   2-3    2-2    1  2  3   3  18  5  2  2  0  28
35 KAVANAUGH, Matt..... c  2-5    0-0    2-2    3  5  8   2   6  1  1  1  1  25
00 PRICE, Khari........ g  0-2    0-2    0-0    0  1  1   4   0  0  1  0  0  16
24 SIBERT, Jordan...... g  0-3    0-2    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  1  0  0  1  30
03 DAVIS, Kyle.........    1-3    1-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   3  0  0  0  0   5
11 SMITH, Scoochie.....    2-4    1-3    0-0    0  0  0   2   5  2  3  0  2  25
12 ROBINSON, Jalen.....    1-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   2  0  0  0  0   8
22 POLLARD, Kendall....    1-5    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   2  0  0  0  0  10
23 VONDERHAAR, Brian...    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0+
40 SCOTT, Devon........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   0  1  1  0  0   7
43 SANFORD, Vee........    1-5    0-0    2-4    0  1  1   0   4  1  1  0  0  17
50 WEHRLI, Bobby.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0  0+
   TEAM................                         1  4  5
   Totals..............   19-48   8-18   6-8    5 21 26  19  52 11  9  5  5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  8-26 30.8%   2nd Half: 11-22 50.0%   Game: 39.6%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  4-10 40.0%   2nd Half:  4-8  50.0%   Game: 44.4%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  4-6  66.7%   2nd Half:  2-2  100 %   Game: 75.0%   1,1


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HOME TEAM: Florida 36-2
                          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  1-4    0-1    2-3    2  5  7   2   4  2  2  1  0  25
24 Prather, Casey...... f  2-5    0-0    2-4    2  5  7   2   6  0  2  0  0  22
04 Young, Patric....... c  5-9    0-0    2-3    0  6  6   1  12  0  1  4  2  31
05 Wilbekin, Scottie... g  6-14   3-5    8-10   0  1  1   0  23  3  0  0  3  38
20 Frazier, Michael.... g  4-8    2-5    0-0    1  1  2   2  10  0  1  0  0  34
00 Hill, Kasey.........    0-2    0-0    2-2    1  2  3   2   2  3  1  0  0  13
10 Finney-Smith, Dorian    0-4    0-3    5-6    6  3  9   0   5  2  0  0  0  26
23 Walker, Chris.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  0  0  0   2
25 Walker, DeVon.......    0-2    0-1    0-0    0  2  2   0   0  0  0  0  0   8
30 Kurtz, Jacob........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
   TEAM................
   Totals..............   18-48   5-15  21-28  12 25 37  10  62 10  7  5  5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 13-27 48.1%   2nd Half:  5-21 23.8%   Game: 37.5%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-8  37.5%   2nd Half:  2-7  28.6%   Game: 33.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  9-11 81.8%   2nd Half: 12-17 70.6%   Game: 75.0%    3


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Officials: Michael Stuart, Doug Shows, Patrick Driscoll
Technical fouls: Dayton-None. Florida-None.
Attendance: 15443
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Dayton........................   24   28  -   52
Florida.......................   38   24  -   62

Points in the paint-UD 18,UF 24. Points off turnovers-UD 9,UF 15.
2nd chance points-UD 1,UF 13. Fast break points-UD 6,UF 6.
Bench points-UD 16,UF 7. Score tied-3 times. Lead changed-2 times.
Last FG-UD 2nd-00:17, UF 2nd-06:04.
Largest lead-UD by 2 1st-06:58, UF by 17 2nd-11:25.


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