FLORIDA BASKETBALL

Florida, Donovan familiar with elite status


Florida's Joakim Noah looks for two against Villanova during the first half of NCCA Minneapolis Regional Final in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 26, 2006.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer/FILE
Published: Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 7:22 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 7:22 p.m.

Florida has played in six Elite Eights, five of them under Billy Donovan. Here's how the Gators have played in those:

1994

Florida 74, Boston College 66

Site: Miami Arena, Miami.

The skinny: Florida's “Find A Way” team found a way again and earned its first trip to the Final Four. Craig Brown hit three straight 3-point shots down the stretch, all on curls around a screen, to propel the Gators to the victory. Brown made 5 of 9 from behind the arc and finished with 21 points. Andrew DeClercq had 16 points and 13 rebounds. After the game, Florida coach Lon Kruger had tears in his eyes as he met with the media.




2000

Florida 77, Oklahoma State 65

Site: The Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.

The skinny: Florida was in control for much of a game that was punctuated by a monstrous slam by Donnell Harvey. Florida got 31 points from its bench in the game. Regional MVP Mike Miller had 14 points for the Gators, who advanced to their second Final Four.

2006

Florida 75, Villanova 62

Site: H.H.H. Metrodome, Minneapolis, Minn.

The skinny: It was typical of this team this season in that the Gators got scoring from so many different players. Joakim Noah had 21 points and 15 rebounds while Al Horford had 12 points and 15 rebounds. Florida had 53 rebounds in the game on its way to the Final Four and its first national championship.

2007

Florida 85, Oregon 77

Site: Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis.

The skinny: Lee Humphrey scored 25 points on 7-for-13 shooting from beyond the arc, but it was fellow guard Taurean Green who was named the regional's MVP. Green had 21 points and Florida made 28 of 43 free throws to hang on for the win.

2011

Butler 74, Florida 71 (OT)

Site: New Orleans Arena, New Orleans.

The skinny: Florida led by 11 with 10 minutes to play before Butler fought back to tie the game and send it to overtime. Florida had a chance to win it in regulation, but Erving Walker took a wild 3 that bounced off the rim. Vernon Macklin led Florida with 25 points, but Florida was outrebounded 41-34.

2012

Louisville 72, Florida 68

Site: US Airways Center, Phoenix.

The skinny: It was deja vu all over again as Florida couldn't hold an 11-point lead in the last eight minutes. Chane Behanan hit the big jumper to give the Cardinals the lead. Florida had all five starters in double figures but received only five points from the bench.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top