Coach has Sweet 16-bound Gators surging at right time


However, if momentum is at all a factor in the tournament, the Gators certainly have some as they have won their past two games in convincing fashion.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is sitting behind the Wisconsin bench for the Badgers' Sweet 16 matchup with Florida on Friday night. The Gators, however, won in a nerve-wracking overtime and now are just 40 minutes away from a trip to the Final Four.

The job Gard has done as Wisconsin's permanent coach this season might be even better. When White was hired, he had limited experience. Every team feels like it has a chance to get to the Final Four after getting to the regional semifinals. Florida only made 46% of their shots and played UVA fairly evenly in most aspects of the game. "My personal answer, our answer as a staff has just been the next one". These kids didn't just hang around campus to play basketball for year and then bolt, but stayed, matured and became educated men.

Allen continued his hot shooting to start the second half, hitting a 3-pointer, a pair of free throws and two more buckets, and after Kasey Hill hit a pull up jumper inside the arc, the Gators had built their biggest lead to that point at 51-41 with 14:50 left.

"I've done this before", Hayes said after UW's victory last weekend. They've lost a combined 34 games. "We're still going to come out here and play as hard".

For the Badgers, the takeaway is that 8-seed wasn't high enough, and they're proving it.

Senior forward Nigel Hayes, who had 19 points and eight rebounds against Villanova, claims the Badgers didn't have any extra chip on their shoulder against the Wildcats. That was the Badgers' last lead until the very end, as the Gators scored the next nine, kicked off by Allen's three.

Forward Devin Robinson has been a standout during the tournament. In all likelihood Happ will be responsible to keep Hayes off the offensive glass and make sure Florida possessions are limited to one shot.

Meanwhile, Florida defeated East Tennessee State by a score of 80-65 and Virginia, 65-39.

The irony, of course, is that Hayes and Koenig and Wisconsin's other seniors are the embodiment of the student-athlete the NCAA is always boasting about during its annual academic scandals and too-regular occurrences of domestic abuse or other criminal activity.

And he expects this season's team has the same feeling. When you allow them to go off and do their own thing and you only coach certain guys, you can lose your group. No. 3 seed Baylor (27-7): More defense in the East.

Wisconsin is the only school to reach the last four Sweet 16s, which explains why Hayes (166 points) and Koenig (159) are the leading scorers among active tournament-eligible players. I'm taking UCLA in this one, who gets the win behind 35 points from Lonzo Ball. The Gators and Gamecocks split their two games during the regular season, with UF winning 81-61 in Gainesville and SC winning 57-53 in Columbia.