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Mike White

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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Chris Chiozza, Christian Laettner and the forgotten supporting actors

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Christian Laettner, meet Chris Chiozza. Your contributions to March Madness lore may be 25 years apart, but the memories will go on for far longer. Laettner, who was already well-known, made “The Shot,” in 1992 that kept Duke’s hopes alive for a repeat championship, which they won. Chiozza, a popular figure on the Florida campus, but relatively unknown elsewhere, sent the Gators to the Elite 8 on Friday with “The Shot 2.” One should be careful before making comparisons between…

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Can Gators display the patience needed to take down Wisconsin?

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As the Florida Gators prepare to take on the Wisconsin Badgers in Friday night’s Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden, an old saying applies to Florida players, coaches and fans: Patience is a virtue. But that is what is required to play against the well-coached, disciplined Badger team. On defense, eighth-seeded Wisconsin plays tough and aggressively, hoping to force undisciplined teams into taking quick shots. On offense, they are not afraid to run the shot clock down to the last…

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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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Devin Robinson, others step up to help Gators avoid upset

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Listening to the “experts,” the Florida Gators sounded like underdogs to East Tennessee State heading into Thursday’s NCAA Tournament first round game at the Amway Center in Orlando. Despite being a 10-point favorite with odds makers, several pundits had the fourth-seeded Gators on “upset alert” against the 13th seed Buccaneers. To be sure, the pressure is on the higher seed in games like these. Double-digit seeds have low expectations. Since 1985, 13th seeds have beaten fourth seeds 26 times. With…

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Despite loss to Wildcats, Gators still can win SEC Tournament

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Although the Florida Gators lost to the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington on Saturday, they still have a good opportunity to gain the automatic NCAA Tournament bid in two weeks. Kentucky overcame a 12-point first half deficit to beat Florida, 76-66, snapping the Gators’ nine-game winning streak. Florida’s defense is often good enough to get them a victory when they shoot poorly, but not on Saturday. Very few come into Rupp Arena and leave with a win, especially those who can…

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Gators, Seminoles to face teams seeking revenge for earlier blowouts

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The Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles men’s basketball teams face somewhat similar challenges on Saturday. Both will be on the road to face teams they hammered at home just a few weeks ago. Let’s be honest; the 13th-ranked Gators have the more difficult task, but the way FSU has played on the road over the last month, they will have their hands full as well. Florida heads to Lexington, Ky. for a 2:00 p.m. tipoff to face a Wildcat…

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