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Sunshine State Report

The latest on college sports in Florida

Gators to face Virginia in NCAA Tournament first round



Florida has received a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and the Gators will play No. 10 seed Virginia (22-9) on Friday at 2:10 p.m., in Omaha, Neb.

The game will be televised live on TNT, with Marv Albert, Steve Kerr and Craig Sager handling the game.

The Gators (23-10), who were a projected No. 5 seed by some experts, apparently fell after struggling during the final two weeks of the season. Virginia also enters the tournament having gone 8-8 down the stretch.

This will be Florida's 12th NCAA appearance in 16 seasons under coach Billy Donovan.

"It's always an honor to be part of the NCAA Tournament, and we're excited about playing,’’ Donovan said Sunday night. “We know we have a great challenge ahead of us in Virginia and look forward to competing on this stage."

The Gators are 0-1 all-time as a No. 7 seed, but Florida’s players said they would be prepared no matter what.

“We believe we can play with anybody in the country,’’ senior guard Erving Walker said. “We have confidence in this team and our guys.''

Virginia averages 63.1 points this season, but shoots an average of just five 3-pointers per game. Florida, however leads the nation in 3-point shots with 9.9 per game, and has five starters averaging in double figures, which Virginia coach Tony Bennett said is a major concern for the Cavaliers.

[Last modified: Sunday, March 11, 2012 10:17pm]


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