Sunday, October 1, 2023

Then There was Only Four

Photo courtesy of Google Images.
The Gators play great defense. Photo courtesy of Google Images.

The eyes of the nation turn to North Texas this weekend as four teams invade Dallas for the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four.
The final contestants in the Big Dance will take the court inside AT&T Stadium, previously known as Cowboy Stadium. They’re Florida, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Kentucky.
This season the Southeastern Conference had three teams who earned tournament births. All three — Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee — made it to the Sweet 16. Then the Volunteers fell to the Michigan Wolverines on Friday night.
Florida faced the UCLA Bruins in a Sweet-16 matchup on Thursday night in the Fedex Forum of Memphis, Tenn. The Gators defeated the Bruins by a score of 79-68 and advanced to the Elite Eight, where they met the Dayton Flyers. Florida defeated Dayton 62-52 to punch the first SEC ticket to the Final Four out of the South Region.
The Huskies of Connecticut are the winers of the East Region after defeating Iowa State and Michigan State. UCONN will be facing the Gators in their Final-Four matchup. For Florida, their last loss came at the hands of the Huskies 65-64 back in December.
Wisconsin earned their spot in Dallas after winning the West Region by defeating Baylor and Arizona.
The Kentucky Wildcats are the eighth seed and the lowest overall to clinch a spot in Big D. The Wildcats defeated in-state rival Louisville and Michigan for the last spot in the Final Four. Kentucky will face Wisconsin on Saturday evening.
If Florida and Kentucky both get past their opponents, they’ll meet for the National Championship on Monday night in an all-SEC affair. The Gators have beaten their SEC rivals from Kentucky three times this season, the last time for the SEC Championship. SEC fans know how difficult it is to beat a team three times in a row in such a competitive conference.
Can the Gators do it for a magical fourth time?
At we think they can and they will in an all-SEC final.
—Adam Brown, sports editor