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The latest on college sports in Florida

Gators get first NCAA Tournament bid since 2007



So much for the experts.

Although most experts and ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi had projected that Florida would be left out of the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season, the Gators were among the field of 64 selected to the NCAA Tournament Sunday evening.

No. 10 seed Florida (21-12) will play No. 7 seed BYU (29-5) on Thursday, at 12:20 p.m., in the West Region in Oklahoma City.

It is Florida's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since winning the national championship in 2007.

“We’re very, very excited, and grateful for the opportunity,'' UF coach Billy Donovan said. "I’m most excited for our players having a chance to experience this, for most of them this is something they haven't been through yet. They’ve worked so hard from day one, and it’s great to see them rewarded.”

Florida is one of four SEC teams in the tournament, joining No. 1 seed Kentucky, No. 4 seed Vanderbilt and No. 6 seed Tennessee. Mississippi State, which lost in overtime to Kentucky in the SEC tournament finals Sunday afternoon, was not among the 64 teams selected.

“We're all excited to be in the NCAA Tournament, it’s such a great feeling,'' said UF senior Dan Werner, the only player on the team that has been a part of a tournament team. "That being said, now we need to turn our focus to BYU and need to come with right mindset and take full advantage of this opportunity.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 1:44pm]


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