UF familiar with Bridgestone
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 7:26 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 7:26 p.m.
Florida is no stranger to the arena where the SEC Tournament is taking place. The Gators have played nine games in what is now called Bridgestone Arena:
2001 SEC Tournament
What happened: Florida beat Alabama 69-61 but lost to Ole Miss 74-69. Matt Bonner led Florida in the first game with 22 points, and Brett Nelson added 19 against a physical Alabama team. The depleted Gators (starters Brent Wright and Justin Hamilton were injured) got a double-double from Udonis Haslem against Ole Miss (20 points, 14 rebounds), but it wasn't enough.
2005 NCAA Tournament
What happened: Florida, fresh off its first SEC Tournament championship, beat Ohio 67-62 in the first round before losing to Villanova 76-65 to end the season. Guard Anthony Roberson was so upset after the loss he threw his uniform top into a trash can as he left the floor. This was Florida's only NCAA appearance in Nashville.
2006 SEC Tournament
What happened: Florida beat Arkansas 74-71, beat LSU 81-65 and beat South Carolina 49-47 to win a second straight tournament title. Joakim Noah tipped in a Corey Brewer miss for the winning basket, then blocked Renaldo Balkman's shot at the end of the game. Noah ran to Billy Donovan to give him a hug after the win. Unfortunately, Donovan was dealing with back spasms and started yelling, “My back, Jo, my back!” Guard Taurean Green was the MVP.
2010 SEC Tournament
What happened: Florida beat Auburn 78-69 and lost to Mississippi State 75-69. The loss put Florida's NCAA bid in jeopardy, but the Gators ended a two-year drought when they were selected two days later. Current seniors Kenny Boynton and Erik Murphy played in the games with Boynton scoring 32 points and shooting 7-of-15 from 3-point range. Murphy played only 19 minutes in the two games and scored one point.