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Justin Leon

South Carolina heading to Final Four after beating Gators

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Sindarius Thornwell scored 26 points and South Carolina earned its first trip to the Final Four with a 77-70 victory over Florida on Sunday. The seventh-seeded Gamecocks (26-10) used their trademark swarming defense and some solid free throw shooting to beat their fellow Southeastern Conference Gators (27-9) in the East Regional final at Madison Square Garden. South Carolina will face Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed from the West Regional, in the Final Four on Saturday at Glendale, Arizona. The game…

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Overpowering performance shows Gators belong in Sweet 16

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If the Florida Gators play like they did on Saturday, they have a chance to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. Florida smothered the beleaguered Virginia Cavaliers, 65-39 in a second round game at the Amway Center in Orlando. This game was expected to be a defensive-oriented contest since neither team was known as offensive juggernauts. Florida has shown the ability to post big wins when they shoot around 50 percent. Three straight 30-point blowouts and a 22-point…

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High-flying ‘Noles, road warrior Gators offer entertaining basketball

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While their bowl games are still about three weeks away, the athletic departments at both Florida and Florida State each have other quality products to showcase. Each of their men’s basketball teams have something to prove in 2016-17. At the top of the to-do list is making the NCAA Tournament, something that has eluded both. Florida has missed the Big Dance the last two seasons while Florida State is enduring a four-year drought. The Gators have been ranked in the…

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Gators get by Razorbacks in SEC Tournament

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Despite playing with a wounded big man, the Florida Gators managed to get by the Arkansas Razorbacks in the second of the SEC Tournament in Nashville. After tearing a ligament in his right thumb on Tuesday, John Egbunu only played limited minutes, but his presence helped inspire his team to a 68-61 victory. Heading into the game, Florida coach Mike White was pessimistic about Egbunu’s ability to contribute. In the end, the 6-foot, 11-inch center chipped in eight points and…

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