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Gators face UCLA in Sweet 16
Published: Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 10:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 10:42 p.m.
It wouldn't be an NCAA tournament if Florida and UCLA didn't meet up at some point.
Florida vs. UCLA in Memphis, Tenn., approx. 9:45 p.m.
For the fourth time since 2006, the Gators will face the Bruins in March Madness play. This time, it will be in the Sweet 16 on Thursday, when South Region top seed UF faces fourth seed UCLA at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn. The Stanford vs. Dayton game tips off at 7:15 p.m. Thursday on CBS, with the UCLA-Florida game to follow, likely around 9:45 p.m.
UCLA advanced with a 77-60 win Sunday night over 12th seed Stephen F. Austin.
Florida is 3-0 in the previous three meetings with UCLA, beating the Bruins 73-57 in the 2006 NCAA title game, 76-66 in the 2007 Final Four and 73-65 in a 2011 Round of 32 game.
All three of those wins came with Ben Howland as UCLA's coach. UCLA is 28-8 this season under first-year coach Steve Alford, who replaced Howland last season. The Bruins are led by a dynamic backcourt duo of sophomore point guard Kyle Anderson (14.7 ppg, 6.6 apg) and sophomore guard Jordan Adams (17.4 ppg).
The Gators, the tournament's top overall seed, are the only team in the country to reach the Sweet 16 in each of the last four seasons. Florida (34-2) has won 28 straight and is looking to take the next step after having each of its previous three seasons end in the Elite Eight.
With both Wichita State (35-game win streak) and Stephen F. Austin (29 straight) losing Sunday, UF owns the longest winning streak in the nation.
If Florida gets past UCLA, it would face the winner of a matchup between 10 seed Stanford and 11 seed Dayton in the Elite Eight this Saturday. Stanford upset 2 seed Kansas 60-57 on Sunday and Dayton knocked off third-seed Syracuse 55-53 on Saturday night.