The Florida Gators were the consensus favorite heading into the Big Dance and have shown nothing that would suggest otherwise over the course of the first four games of tournament play. On Saturday they’ll look to continue to follow through on their nation-leading college basketball odds with a semifinal victory against the Connecticut Huskies.
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Riding a 30-game win streak, it’s hard to consider any opponent worthy of knocking off the Billy Donovan-helmed ball club. In fact, the last time Florida actually lost a game was back in early December. No wonder they have -110 odds to win the NCAA Tournament.
But wait a minute, here’s where things get interesting. On December 2, before launching their season-making win streak, the Gators fell to an unlikely foe: the Connecticut Huskies.
Now with a six-point advantage over UCONN, the Gators will have to prove that they’re a better team now than they were early in the season. Florida’s well-balanced offensive core means little if they can’t come up with an answer for Huskies guard Shabazz Napier.
Napier, let’s not forget, hit the game winning jumper on that fateful December night.
Averaging 18.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game, Napier is an NBA-bound swingman capable of dominating a basketball game. While Florida may have established themselves as an overwhelmingly powerful program capable of swallowing up entire teams, they’re going to have to show that they can shut down individuals as well — especially those who are stars in the making.
Don’t forget to bet on the Wisconsin-Kentucky clash to crown the winner of the other side of the bracket.
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