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College basketball preview: Southeast Region semifinal, No. 2 Florida Gators vs. No. 3 BYU Cougars

Tonight: Southeast region semifinal

No. 2 Florida vs. No. 3 BYU

When/Where: 7:27 tonight; New Orleans Arena

TV/radio: TBS; 620-AM, 1010-AM

Enrollments: UF 52,112; BYU 32,995

Records: UF 28-7, BYU 32-4

How they got here: UF d. No. 15 UC Santa Barbara 79-51, d. No. 7 UCLA 73-65; BYU d. No. 14 Wofford 74-66, d. No. 11 Gonzaga 89-67

Key Stat: BYU shoots 76.3 percent from the line (10th nationally); UF 67.1 percent (237th)

The Buzz: BYU beat Florida 99-92 in double overtime in last season's first round, and Jimmer Fredette scored 37 for the Cougars. This Florida team is much improved. The Gators enjoy a big advantage in the frontcourt, and coach Billy Donovan certainly will be happy if C Vernon Macklin, F Alex Tyus and F/C Patric Young get a lot of touches in the low post. When they are scoring down low, the perimeter opens for Gs Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker and F Chandler Parsons. Parsons, in particular, bears watching in this one. Parsons, who is 6-10, can hit from the outside and finish at the rim; he could do some damage, considering the Cougars' lack of size and their sometimes shaky defense. BYU is all about Fredette, the nation's leading scorer. He has phenomenal range and a quick trigger, and is strong and a great finisher. He's going to get his points, and a key for Florida is to make sure no other Cougar scores 15 or so. G Jackson Emery, left, is a solid backcourt mate for Fredette; Emery is a good defender (2.8 steals per game) and distributor who can hit the 3. Swingman Charles Abouo, left, might be the best athlete on the floor, and his rebounding and defensive toughness will be key for BYU. The Cougars have lost just four times this season, and BYU shot 26.4 percent from 3-point range combined in the losses. That's 10.1 percent worse than its season average.

Rivals.com

Tale of the tape

UF BYU

71.8 Points 81.6

62.7 Opp. points 67.4

.465 FG pct. .452

.423 Opp. FG pct. .413

.357 3-point pct. .364

.315 Opp. 3-point pct. .327

.671 FT pct. .766

+5.9 Reb. margin +3.0

6.3 3-pointers 8.4

5.6 Opp. 3-pointers 5.8

3.5 Blocks 4.1

5.9 Steals 7.9

13.9 Assists 14.6

12.3 Turnovers 10.9

12.5 Turnovers forced 14.4

Source: UF

College basketball preview: Southeast Region semifinal, No. 2 Florida Gators vs. No. 3 BYU Cougars 03/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:22pm]

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