GAINESVILLE — Six hundred and six.
If you're a Florida fan looking for just the slightest light at the end of what has been a really dark tunnel since September, Saturday afternoon's 606 yards of offense between the Orange and Blue teams during the spring game might help.
New offensive coordinator Kurt Roper's spread, uptempo scheme generated offense and optimism during the Gators' final practice in front of 35,834 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium....
Florida concluded its 2014 spring practices today with the annual Orange and Blue game.
Gators coach Will Muschamp said he was pleased with the overall practices, including the installation of Florida's new up-tempo offense under Kurt Roper.
Hear Muschamp's postgame comments: <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/SBhi6bbbyu8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>...
GAINESVILLE — When Florida's football season ended in December, offensive lineman Max Garcia was among a handful of players in the postgame locker room who were adamant that changes in the offense were desperately needed.
Fast-forward four months.
As the Gators prepared this week to conclude spring practice with the annual Orange and Blue game today, there was a noticeable difference among the players....
GAINESVILLE — Florida forward Chris Walker will return for his sophomore season, he announced Wednesday.
Walker played just 87 minutes this season but was projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick by draft analysts.
"This year has been a great one," Walker tweeted. "And I'm happy to say I will be joining the gatornation again for one more year!"
Walker, 6 feet 10, did not join the team until December due to academic reasons then didn't play until Feb. 4 because of NCAA violations prior to enrolling. He played in 18 games, averaging 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 4.8 minutes....
After a freshman season that earned him All-American status, Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves said he's pleased with what he was able to accomplish this past season, but focused on the future.
Hargreaves said Wednesday afternoon he is trying to become more of a leader after the Gators lost many upperclassmen on defense, and are in need of players to step up.
Hear more from Hargreaves on the secondary and what to expect in this weekend's spring game:...
Back in early January, when the Connecticut basketball team was struggling and the team was starting to unravel a bit, coach Kevin Ollie took his squad for an unplanned visit during a road trip to play SMU in Dallas.
To AT&T Stadium — site of the 2014 NCAA Final Four. He wanted his players to see what could be if only they would believe in themselves and each other....
ARLINGTON, Texas — When No. 8 seed Kentucky and No. 7 seed Connecticut meet in the NCAA Tournament national championship tonight, the game will feature the two lowest seeded teams to ever play for a national championship. It is also the first title matchup in 48 years between teams that didn't make the tournament the previous season.
Based on the way the Wildcats and Huskies were playing toward the end of the regular season, a title game between them might have seemed impossible....
ARLINGTON, Texas — On the eve of the final college basketball game of the year, NCAA president Mark Emmert and other top college athletic administrators acknowledged it's time for the NCAA to take a hard look at many issues concerning student-athletes, including recruiting, one-and-done athletes and monetary compensation.
"I've been at this 35 years now," said Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "As I look back on that time there's really been a lot of change, and yet there's a lot of stuff that's exactly the same. We, in some ways, have been unwilling or unable to make meaningful change, and it feels like for a variety of reasons we now have an opportunity to do that. … It's a good time for us to think about redefining what a scholarship looks like."...
No. 7 Connecticut Huskies vs. No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats
Record: 31-8. Conference: American Athletic
NCAA Tournament history: 57-29; champion 1999 (beating Duke at Tropicana Field), 2004, 2011
Record: 29-10. Conference: SEC
NCAA Tournament history: 116-46; champion 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012...
ARLINGTON, Texas — Monday's title game will be between No. 8 seed Kentucky and No. 7 Connecticut, neither of which was in the NCAA Tournament last year.
The last time two teams that missed the tournament the previous year made the final was 1966, Texas Western versus Kentucky.
UConn coach Kevin Ollie said he had faith the Huskies would make the final. He also thanked Florida coach Billy Donovan after UConn beat the Gators in the semifinals Saturday....
ARLINGTON, Texas — Florida senior forward Casey Prather sat at his locker inside AT&T Stadium, his eyes red from crying, and tried to put his heartbreak into words. Freshman guard Kasey Hill couldn't hold back the tears.
For the first time in 30 games, the Florida Gators felt defeat Saturday night, and it came in the biggest game of the season.
The No. 1 overall seed Gators' record-setting season came to an end at AT&T Stadium with a 63-53 loss to No. 7 seed Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament national semifinal....
ARLINGTON, Texas — Florida has played all three of the other teams participating in tonight's Final Four, but the Gators and Kentucky may have a slight advantage because both have played at AT&T Stadium. The Gators played in it in an NCAA regional last year, and Kentucky played at the stadium against Baylor on Dec. 6.
"This is definitely the biggest arena I have played in, but it helps to have played here just last year," Gators senior F Casey Prather said....
Florida senior G Scottie Wilbekin is expected to be one-half of a highly-anticipated matchup with UConn's Shabazz Napier when the Gators and Huskies meet Saturday night in the NCAA national semifinal game.
The two teams played earlier this season, with UConn earning a 65-64 victory.
Wilbekin talked about the previous game and the upcoming Final Four game during press conferences on Friday....
ARLINGTON, Texas — Scottie Wilbekin was lying on the floor in the Connecticut visitors' locker room in December, his sprained ankle packed in ice as his Florida teammates tried to close out the final 3½ minutes of the game. There was a game clock but no television in the locker room, so he got updates from a student manager. Ultimately, the crowd told him everything he needed to know....
No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers vs. No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats
Record: 30-7 Conference: Big Ten
NCAA Tournament history: 29-18; champion 1941
Record: 28-10 Conference: SEC
NCAA Tournament history: 115-46; .champion 1948, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1978, 1996, 1998, 2012
Wisconsin's starting five...