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FSU-UF rivalry intensifies in yet another sport

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Fans of both the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles are truly passionate about a small handful of sports. Sure, they want to beat the other when they play each other in whatever sport, but the mutual intensity is reserved for football, baseball, basketball or all three. For example, grief counselors are not required if the golf team comes up short or a gymnast falls off the uneven bars leading to the loss of a gymnastics meet. The same has…

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NFL Draft: second and third round good for state collegians

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The second and third rounds of of the NFL Draft on Friday night saw plenty of action for players from Florida universities. It took two rounds and 41 picks, but Dalvin Cook has finally found an NFL home. The Minnesota Vikings traded up with the Cincinnati Bengals to acquire Florida State’s all-time leading rusher. “We started making some calls once we knew he was sliding into the second day,” said Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman. “We felt he was just…

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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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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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Orlando hosts Florida-flavored NCAA Tournament first round

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For NCAA Tournament organizers, their desire to fill seats at the eight first and second round sites, Orlando should be gold for them. With the Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles and Florida Gulf Coast Eagles coming to the Amway Center in Orlando on Thursday, fans of all three teams will not have far to travel. Florida’s other NCAA Tournament is Miami. The eighth-seeded Hurricanes will open play on Friday in Tulsa against the ninth-seeded Michigan State Spartans. The team traveling…

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