Florida vs. Xavier
When/where: 6; Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville
TV/radio: ESPN; 620-AM
Records: Florida 17-7, 6-4 SEC; Xavier 16-7, 8-2 Atlantic 10
Notable: The Gators will step out of conference in the middle of the season for the first time since 2003, but this isn't just any nonconference game. Xavier has reached two Elite Eights and one Sweet 16 in the past six years. … Florida is coming off a loss at South Carolina and needs another signature win. … Xavier has been off since a Feb. 6 loss to Dayton, and the Musketeers are playing their third consecutive road game in a stretch of five out of six on the road. … UF coach Billy Donovan said he welcomes the opportunity this game presents. "I think in most situations you'd like to be in a situation where you're playing all your nonconference games during the nonconference schedule," he said. "I'm excited because it's a good team, it's just like a league game basically. And instead of us having an off week, I almost sometimes prefer to have a game because sometimes the off week can take you out of the rhythm and flow of games coming. So to me, sometimes playing a game like this instead of having an off week is a good thing."
Antonya English, Times staff writer