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UF VS. WESTERN KENTUCKY

WHEN/WHERE: 3 p.m. today; Superdome, New Orleans.

TV/RADIO: Ch. 10; WDAE-AM 620 (in progress).

RECORDS: UF 23-6, WKU 24-6.

COACHES: UF _ Billy Donovan (101-55, fifth season; 136-75 overall). WKU _ Dennis Felton (48-40, third season).

KEY PLAYERS: UF _ Matt Bonner, F, 6-9 So. (13.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg); Udonis Haslem, C, 6-8 Jr. (16.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg); Brett Nelson, G, 6-3 So. (15.3 ppg, 4.3 apg); Teddy Dupay, G, 5-8 Jr. (13.9 ppg, 2.8 apg). WKU _ David Boyden, F, 6-8 So. (7.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg); Chris Marcus, C, 7-1 Jr. (16.8 ppg, 11.9 rpg, 3.2 bps); Nashon McPherson, G, 6-4 Sr. (10.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg); Derek Robinson, G, 6-1 Jr. (8.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg).

NOTES: This is the first meeting between the teams. Florida, co-champion of the SEC regular season, is making its school-record third straight NCAA Tournament appearance, eighth overall with a 14-7 record. It reached the Final Four in 1994 and 2000, finishing as national runner-up last season to Michigan State. Half of the school's tournament wins have come the past two seasons under Donovan. Western is making its 17th appearance, first since 1995, with an overall record of 17-15. The Hilltoppers reached the 1971 Final Four, finishing third after a consolation win against Kansas. Both teams finished strong, UF winning 12 of 14 and WKU 14 of 15, including its past seven. UF struggled in first-round victories the past two years, rallying from an 11-point halftime deficit against Penn in 1999 and needing a buzzer-beater from Mike Miller to defeat Butler 69-68 in 2000. Florida has the nation's 11th-ranked scoring offense (82.3 ppg), Western the 11th-ranked scoring defense (60.7 ppg). Marcus is the nation's second-leading rebounder behind Iowa's Reggie Evans (12.0), a large reason WKU's rebounding margin (10.2) is second only to Michigan State's (15.3).

_ Compiled by Joanne Korth.

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