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!


Basketball team up to 10-0, in the Finals

This could get confusing because there are two basketball teams in the Finals right now–the Gators and my league team. Right now, I’m talking about the league, but I’ll get to the Gators later. We won last week, but it wasn’t pretty. We played a team that we beat pretty badly the first time around, and we were down 14-2 at one point. In the second half, we got our act together, ran a little hot and slowly closed the gap before permanently taking the lead. Most of us were shooting poorly (though we took good shots), and our defense was confused quite a bit. We were fortunate to pull out the win. This week, we’ll be playing a very good, deep basketball team and we’ll need to bring our best game to win. Unfortunately, we’re playing with only six guys because our best perimeter defender is away on business. That will hurt because the other team will have at least 8 guys and maybe 9, so we’re going to be playing fatigued throughout the game. I think we can win. but we’ll have to play good basketball.

Gators in the finals for first time since 2000

We’re there and we look great. All the detractors are back-tracking and we’re looking better by the game. Earlier this season, a common criticism of this team was that we didn’t have a “go to” guy. My initial reaction was that having a go to guy can often be detrimental if a team isn’t able to play through that guy’s bad nights. Our team is fully capable of compensating for a guy having an off night, and we have a different star every time we take the floor. I think our Final Four game was one of our best, and yet our leading scorer was the least publicized player on our team, Lee Humphrey. Our next game is against UCLA tomorrow, and I think we have a great chance of winning it all. UCLA is solid, but I think we have an advantage in most of the match-ups, and we play similar styles of basketball.

Celebrity sighting

Well, it wasn’t so much a celebrity sighting as a “me” sighting. I was looking for some dental floss at Target last weekend when a lady came up and asked if I was an actor. I figured this was a funny coincidence and that she must have me confused with someone else. I told her I had acted in a short film last year, but nothing more than that. She said, “The Might Stride?” So she did actually recognize me. Somehow, she’d seen the short and we talked about it for a couple minutes. She said she really enjoyed it and that she thought I did good work. It was really encouraging.