Florida Flattens the Final Four
Ironically, there isn’t much I can say about the Gators’ performance this weekend. George Mason was billed as this year’s Cinderella, but Florida didn’t seem to share the same respect for Mason’s mystique as the rest of the country. They simply outmatched George Mason at every position and coasted to a convincing win. Next up: UCLA. It was entertaining to see all of the sports analyists flip-flopping on their predictions after Saturday’s games. UCLA handled LSU, but it was pretty obvious that LSU just had a terrible game while UCLA played very well and capitalized on LSU’s many mistakes. Before Saturday, Florida was the consensus favorite to cut down the nets on Monday, but after UCLA’s game against LSU, the consensus became a coin-flip. UCLA’s vaunted defense became the big story and everyone forgot that Florida handled Villanova, a No. 1 seed, less than a week earlier.
Fortunately, the Gators have refused to acknowledge the hype–positive or negative–all year, and the media’s sudden distrust in their ability to hang with a tough defensive team didn’t affect them in the least. It only took a couple minutes on Monday for the Gators to announce their superiority, and then they continued to remind everyone just how good they are by frequently adding exclamation points to the story they’ve written all season long. Noah with a block, Horford with a dunk, Moss takes a charge, Humphrey buries a transition three, Brewer with a steal, Green with an assist, Green with an assist, Green with an assist, Richard changes a shot. And every time UCLA tried to answer, the Gators took it up a notch to keep them at bay.
This has been such a fantastic season for the Gators. It’s too bad Coach of the Year honors have already been given because I think it’s obvious to everyone that Billy Donovan deserves that title. Out of nowehere came a team with more chemistry than I’ve seen on any team in years, and suddenly they’re breaking records and setting new ones: Best start in school history, first triple-double in school history, most made freethrows in a game, most consecutive freethrows, and the list goes on and on, culminating with our first National Championship.
I’m tempted to speculate about next season, but it just doesn’t seem appropriate right now. October is so far away and there’s no telling what will happen between now and then. For now, I’m just looking forward to reading the deluge of articles that will be written over the next several weeks. In a way, the best part of winning the Natinal Championship is that we’re going to be the topic of conversation for the next several months. It’s great to be a Florida Gator!