Gators embracing opportunity in NCAA Tournament
Preparing to move on from its SEC tournament title game loss, Florida is ready to embrace the challenge of the NCAA Tournament.
“We’re excited," Florida coach Billy Dnovan said. "This time of year to be able to get in the tournament and be able to play in the tournament I think is exciting. There’s certainly a lot of talk about it once you start hitting February."
The Gators will open tournament play on Friday at 7:27 p.m. vs. Northwestern State.
Donovan said what he loves about hte NCAA Tournament is its unpredictable nature.
"What makes this tournament so unique and so special, in my opinion, is the fact that you're playing a one-game series on a neutral floor and anything can happen,'' he said. "If you go back and you look at the months of November and December and look at some scores, you'll see some upsets, not only at a neutral site but you'll see teams going in and beating a BCS or a high-major team on their home court. But because it doesn't end their season and there's another game coming after it, there's not the same attention on those games in November and December. That's what I think makes it so exciting. I always feel like the tournament is pretty much open. When you're dealing with that . . . certainly last year, Kentucky's basketball team was really, really dominant and they were clearly the best team, but you've still got to go through that journey and anything can happen in those situations."
Junior center Patric Young said he's most focused on making sure the Gators come ready to play.
“Well, I’m just thankful for the opportunity to be there,'' Young said. "Hopefully we prepare the right way and don’t just come there being overwhelmed by the moment. We come there looking to come home with something.”