Denied in Dallas: Florida’s season ends in heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech

Texas Tech guard Davide Moretti (25) defends against Florida guard Jalen Hudson (3) during the first half of a second-round game at the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Dallas, Saturday, March 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

DALLAS — Florida tried to keep its season alive before a raucous crowd in its Round of 32 NCAA Tournament matchup with Texas Tech at the American Airlines Center.

But senior All-American Texas Tech guard Keenan Evans and the three-seeded Red Raiders had other plans Saturday.

Evans scored 22 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:31 remaining, lifting Texas Tech to a 69-66 win over the sixth-seeded Gators.

After coming up with a steal off a Texas Tech in-bounds play with 14 seconds left, Florida had two chances to tie. But senior guard Egor Koulechov missed an open 3-point attempt. Then, off a loose ball scramble, junior guard KeVaughn Allen was able to get a 3-point attempt off that clanged off the back iron before time expired.

“They are a terrific team,” Florida coach Mike White said. “They made big plays, they made the plays down the stretch, of course, and got the defensive stop when they needed one …

“Tough deal for us. I thought we played well enough to have a chance.”

The loss ended UF’s up-and-down season at 21-13 and ended a string of five straight NCAA Tournament appearances in which it at least made the Elite Eight.

Evans put Texas Tech (26-9) ahead to stay 67-64 with a 3-pointer with 2:31 remaining. After Koulechov air-balled a 3-point attempt, Texas Tech regained possession, and went up 69-64 when Evans found teammate Zhaire Smith for an alley-oop dunk with 38.6 seconds left.

Senior point guard Chris Chiozza cut Texas Tech’s lead to 69-66 with a driving layup, then Florida came up with a steal on a Texas Tech in-bounds, but after that, UF’s magic ran out.

“It’s tough to go out that way,” Chiozza said. “I don’t think it’s fully hit me yet. As soon as the buzzer sounded, I felt it a little bit, but so far, I don’t think it’s fully hit me yet that my college career is over.

“But we had a couple of games like this where if we could have made a shot, a couple of times we had a couple of big shots earlier in the season, and we just couldn’t get that one to go down.”

White had one timeout remaining and could have called it after the steal on the in bounds, but didn’t want Texas Tech to allow to get its defense set.

“They’re terrific defensively and we had a good offensive lineup out there,” White said. “The ball is in Chris Chiozza’s hands with the floor spread, and I’m not sure we could have drawn up anything better in a couple seconds. I’m pleased with those looks, of course. I thought Keith Stone made a great decision, he got a tough rebound and hit KeVaughn and unfortunately they didn’t go for us.”

Koulechov said he felt like he had a good enough look on the first of the two missed final 3-point attempts. The Gators finished the game 6 of 22 from 3-point range and made just 2 of 9 from beyond the arc in the second half.

“I bobbled the ball a little bit, and then I saw the guy fall down and kind of trip,” Koulechov said. “That threw me off. It was a good look. I had a good look earlier, too, with the shot clock winding down. You know, sometimes you hit those shots. I didn’t come though for my team today, but you know, just how it is sometimes.”

Junior guard Jalen Hudson led three UF scorers in double figures with 23 points. Koulechov added 12 points and Chiozza had 11 points and three assists while dealing with foul trouble.

Florida’s chances for a win didn’t look promising when Texas Tech went up 40-35 on a wide-open Jarrett Culver layup. White than had a chat with officials to discuss the foul disparity, which at the time was 10 for Florida compared to 2 for Texas Tech.

But Hudson then hit an open 3-pointer to cut Texas Tech’s lead to 40-38. Then Stone had a putback tip in to tie the score at 40. Florida went ahead 43-40 when Hudson converted a three-point play, capping an 8-0 UF run.

Foul trouble, though, plagued the Gators throughout the second half. Hudson picked up his third foul early in the second half and then had to sit for close to a five-minute stretch.

Chiozza then got his fourth foul with 13:23 remaining, making contact with former Gator guard Brandone Francis while trying to chase down a long rebound off a missed 3-point attempt. White was stuck with a dilemma of how long to sit Chiozza, UF’s best defender, passer and ballhandler.

“That was part of our gameplan,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “We always try to attack the opposing team’s best players.”

By the time Chiozza returned to the game with 7:53 left, what was a slim 45-43 Florida lead had evaporated into an eight-point deficit when Evans completed a three-point play to put Texas Tech up 58-50.

White said he and his staff wrestled with whether to bring Chiozza back into the game sooner.

“It’s no fun dealing with foul trouble, of course, but we put ourselves in that situation,” White said.

But Florida battled back, cutting Texas Tech’s lead to 64-62 on a three-point play by Hudson with 3:29 left. Off a Texas Tech miss, the Gators then tied the score at 64 on a Koulechov layup in transition.

It was a frenzied atmosphere to start the game, with a sea of red-clad Texas Tech fans doing their Raider Power chant to start the game. The Gators countered by wearing the same orange-and-black uniforms they wore in facing a similar road-like environment in knocking off Gonzaga at the PK80 Tournament in Portland.

In the good-luck orange jerseys (the Gators entered the game 5-1 when wearing the uniforms), Florida made 9 of its first 13 shots to build an early 20-14 lead. The Gators went up 26-19 on a Koulechov 3-pointer with 9:47 left in the first half before Texas Tech went on a 10-0 run to take the lead, a run that was sparked by UF’s inability to defend the 3-point line.

Texas Tech freshman Zhaire Smith cut Florida’s lead to 26-22 with an open 3-pointer. Then another freshman guard, Culver, sank a 3-pointer to put Texas Tech up 27-26 with 5:42 left in the half.

The Gators went down 29-26 on a Culver layup in transition before rallying to reclaim the lead before halftime. An offensive rebound by Gorjok Gak led to a Koulechov layup that cut Texas Tech’s lead to 29-28. Then, with Florida down 32-31 on its final possession of the half, Chiozza missed a jumper, but Koulechov was able to bank in an offensive rebound before the first-half buzzer to put Florida up 33-32 at halftime.

The Gators shot 46.7 percent from the field in the first half and 36.4 percent (4-11) from 3-point range. Florida missed its final four 3-point attempts in the first half after starting 4-7. Texas Tech, meanwhile, went just 40.6 percent from the floor (13-32) but 50 percent (4-8) from 3-point range.

The game was the last in a Florida uniform for both Koulechov and Chiozza, who finished his career as UF’s all-time assist leader at 571. Chiozza also will be remembered in Florida lore for his game-winning 3-pointer in overtime last year against Wisconsin in overtime in the Sweet 16

“It was a fun ride,” Chiozza said. “It was wild. I had a lot of ups and downs, but you know, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. I’m glad I chose to come here and stay here with the coaching change. It was the best decision I made in my whole life.”

Note: Florida is now 44-17 (.721) all-time at the NCAA Championships.

FLORIDA (21-13)

Hayes 2-4 0-0 4, Chiozza 4-12 2-2 11, Koulechov 5-13 0-1 12, Allen 2-11 2-2 7, Hudson 8-16 5-8 23, Stone 3-5 1-2 7, Bassett 0-0 0-0 0, Gak 0-0 0-0 0, Ballard 0-0 0-0 0, Okauru 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 25-63 10-15 66.


Gray 1-4 1-2 3, Odiase 0-1 0-1 0, Zh.Smith 8-13 0-0 18, Culver 5-13 0-0 11, Evans 8-14 3-5 22, Hamilton 1-1 0-0 2, Za.Smith 2-2 2-3 6, Francis 1-5 0-1 2, Moretti 0-2 0-0 0, Stevenson 2-8 1-2 5. Totals 28-63 7-14 69.

Halftime_Florida 33-32. 3-Point Goals_Florida 6-22 (Hudson 2-5, Koulechov 2-8, Chiozza 1-3, Allen 1-5, Stone 0-1), Texas Tech 6-15 (Evans 3-4, Zh.Smith 2-3, Culver 1-4, Moretti 0-1, Stevenson 0-1, Francis 0-2). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Florida 37 (Stone 10), Texas Tech 32 (Zh.Smith, Culver 9). Assists_Florida 11 (Allen 4), Texas Tech 17 (Zh.Smith 7). Total Fouls_Florida 18, Texas Tech 14.




    Here’s the thing about this season…
    This loss was heartbreaking. Allen was trash, had so many missed layups and turnovers. Cheeze was on the wrong end of two no calls that were called fouls.
    But this season wasn’t about the loss.
    We expected to be able to make a final four run because we expected John Egbunu to be back. Dontay showed flashes and Gorjok was hurt. Kevarrius isn’t meant to be a full starter anyway. Isaiah Stokes and Chase Johnson were hurt. They could have provided support.
    What made last year’s team so great was the bench, which this one didn’t have. Ballard should transfer. Okauru, whichever of hudson/allen/stone didn’t start, and Bassett were really our only bench (I don’t count Gak because he played the whole season hurt).
    20+ wins for now 19 of the last 20 seasons, including this one. We swept kentucky this season, made the tournament and won a game here! If that isn’t a successful season… To be honest I don’t know what is. This team was frustrating to watch at times, and it was the most inconsistent team we’ve seen, but they were still a success.
    Oh, and with no semblance of a front line.
    Auburn is an example of what happens when you lose your front line. Being one of the most dominant teams during the season, after losing their center, they limped into the poststeasons and almost lost in the first round.
    The coaching job by white has been FABULOUS. This team was a bunch of head cases. Super inconsistent, and I am proud of white for finally getting the intensity on defense up (we only had one game in conference play where we allowed 80+ points, and after the vandy loss we only had one team put more than 70 on us).
    This season was a success no matter what happened in the tournament. Kudos to Cheeze for an amazing carreer.
    The future is bright.

  2. Doc 21,
    I share your opinions as well. Our inconsistencies made this team worth watching every night. Allen was the biggest mystery to me. I think we have one of the nicest and kindest groups in the country. Seems like we have super great kids on this team. Maybe next year we can create an edge on this team. I feel like this team is so close. A front line of transfers in the off-season will have us very relevant next season. Proud of Coach White and the Gators. They gave us everything they had. It seem like we peaked in November. Go Gators

  3. As for our future…

    Notable Players leaving: Cheeze, 3gor (thanks for a great season!)
    Notable returners: Hudson, Allen, Stone, Okauru, Hayes, Gak, Bassett,
    Returning from Injury: Stokes, Johnson
    Unknown: Ballard, Egbunu
    Incoming commits: As of right now: Andrew Nembhard 5* pg and Noah Locke 4* SG

    So here’s my logic here.
    Ballard I think should transfer. I saw nothing from him that impressed me. He played terrible defense, was not a good shooter, had no ball handling skills nor assists. He also fouled too much.
    Egbunu should return. No professional team would take a guy who hasn’t played in 2+ years. He has things to prove.
    Obviously Cheeze is a huge loss but I think Okauru and the new five star freshman will pick up the slack at point guard. There will be a dropoff, but it will be manageable.
    We have Allen, Hudson, and Stone returniing. They are all sharpshooters and I think stone and hudson will come into their own next year, especially Stone. With Allen, hopefully his senior experience will get him to improve and work on his game in the offseason.
    Now for our front line.
    First of all, having a front line allows Stone to play a true 3 instead of 5, giving him more opportunity to exploit his strengths.
    Here would be our front line assuming egbunu returns.
    Egbunu (obviously a huge improvement), Gak (Healthy without injured knees and able to condition and strengthen himself), Hayes (who will work onhis game in the offseason hopefully), Bassett (who showed flashes at the end of the season, always a good sign), Stokes and Johnson, giving us a very big front line.
    Next season will be a heavy guard team with good three point shooters… but it will HAVE A FRONT LINE. We will be better next season than Auburn was this season. A testament to the coaching job of Coach White.

    Starters for next season (maybe):
    G Mike Okauru
    G Kevaughn Allen
    G Jalen Hudson
    F Keith Stone
    C John Egbunu

    That’s a pretty threatening starting lineup if you ask me.

  4. It is impossible to win when you are playing against the other team AND the refs. Completely one-sided foul calls in the first half. Gak should have played more minutes as it appeared that he was the only Center that was productive from a defensive standpoint. Overall, we need an offensive presence in the front court. None of our Centers can score and also need to learn how to have strong hands. The other problem is that during the second half of the season, we have relied on one offensive threat in each game. We need offensive production from more than one person and it appears that Allen is not that person. Tonight’s effort was stacked against us from the opening toss.

    • Please, take your FSU whining about the officiating somewhere else, they got beat by a slightly better team, if you make some FTs it might be a different story, and Egbunu is not and should not ask for a 6th year, if you’re gonna injure yourself again, make sure it’s while you’re on a contract with some professional team, he’ll play overseas and make decent money, who knows, may see an NBA roster down the road. Solid nucleus returning next season, Go Gators!!!

    • RS… I’m with you on that. Bad enough that we were playing without our top two centers and against a very pro-TT home crowd in Dallas, but the refs asserting themselves at every critical moment in the game didn’t help either.

      At one time in the first half UF led with 10 fouls to TT’s 2. The refs were absolute trash, and this kind of home-cooking in one of the nation’s biggest sporting events is totally pathetic imo.

      Anyone else notice that every time we got a lead and threatened to start widening the margin how the whistlkes on us started and got swallowed against TT? I thought Mick Hubert on the radio was about to blow a gasjet at times too.

  5. I just read in another posting that K. Allen was excused from Friday’s practice to attend the funeral of a close family friend and mentor. He looked off during this game and you have to wonder if it had to do with that sad event. All I’m saying is that these players are young men and sometimes life events affect their performance in the court. Go Gators! and Go Retrievers!!!

  6. Texas Tech was prob the better team, but that 3rd foul on cheese hurt…bad officiating, but oh well

    Agreed…Hayes is a bench player. Possibly the worst hands in Div 1 hoops.

    Koulechov kinda choked twice…prob would have forced the ball to Hudson down the stretch as he balled out again. Tough loss fellas but you battled to the end. We should be solid next year! I like the direction of the program.


  7. It’s a shame Cheez lost his shot the last part of the season. Don’t really know what happened there. Igor’s choices of shots left a lot to be desired as the season went on. He was taking way too many off balance and overly long 3s. Stone’s a stud. Allen was just way too inconsistent. Hayes can block shots, but that’s about it. Hudson and Okauru looked really good all year. The long non scoring droughts really killed them all year, and once again in this game. Hated to see them lose this game, because they fought hard the whole game and played well enough to win. They accomplished a lot considering all the obstacles. Looking forward to next year with a healthy team. Now, let’s see what Coach Mullen has for us come September. Go Gators!!

  8. Hudson is projected 2nd round pick- hopefully he will return. Ballard played well much of the year- his minutes got cut in recent weeks but he has lots of offense. if White can recruit a center we could win championships. hopefully a top rated Center will come aboard soon. egbunu would only have one year if he returns. Gak is a good guy off the bench but don’t see him as a starter and Hayes hasn’t lived up to what Billy thought

  9. Hudson will not be back. Allen won’t get drafted but he could leave for money overseas. Egbunu will likely not be back. Johnson and Stokes are 4’s not true posts. So, barring a transfer, the center will be Hayes again.
    And, no, Ballard should not transfer. He has a lot of potential at the 3, while Stone is limited on defense and needs to play the 4.

  10. One thing best sums up this team and their downfall. They are a team of shooters who actually can’t really shoot.
    They may not miss in practice but they no more deserve the term shooters than I do in a lot of our games. Very streaky and not clutch.

  11. External factors dictated the outcome of this game. I guess it’s only natural for officials to play to the crowd. It takes strong officials to remain objective with a partisan crowd. They are rewarded when they make a call for the crowd and booed otherwise. TTech played in Texas so the NCAA could have a sell-out. Just doesn’t seem fair. Gators played handcuffed and Raiders had opened season. Proud of the team. They played tough and played hard. Overall, an excellent season; they brought many passionate moments of inspired play for Gator Nation. We’ll miss the seniors (Chiozza and Egor) and hope Hudson accepts the challenge to return. Would like to see Egbunu play in the Gator uniform one more year. Stone will be great next year. Okauru has lots of potential. I can see Allen turning it up too! Bassett can play and he’ll prove it next year. Gak will continue to develop and Ballard has lots of speed and desire. I’d give him another year. Congratulations Gators! Great season! Go Gators!

    • Blaming the refs for this loss is a losing argument. Trying to see this objectively, Hayes had an obvious goal tend that wasn’t called. Chiozza had his fifth foul that wasn’t called. The shot to end the half, and the reason the TTU coach was screaming, the shot clock rang, and TTU stopped playing, allowing for that Kalashnikov’s put back. The announcers all spoke of this. I thought the officiating was even, and TTU also was whistled for non calls. Hudson was the hot hand, and should have shot at the end of the game. Kalashnikov, all year, if he’s set can make his threes, and misses off the dribble. Why did he not go straight up at the end, why did he dribble to his right first? Also, Kalashnikov gave up a lot of layups in the middle as he has all year. Love the kid, but this has hurt us all year.

      • All valid points with the exception of Egor’s basket to end the half. They reviewed the play and confirmed the first shot hit the rim negating a shot clock violation. You’re correct in saying that’s what the TT coach was arguing, but he was simply wrong. The fact the buzzer went off is of no consequence in that situation.

        • You are correct, however, TTU stopped moving immediately after the buzzer which should not have sounded. Indeed, disciplined players should keep playing no matter what, but I was trying to make a point that UF didn’t lose because of the officials. Thanks Joe.

          • I agree. The game was lost, in my opinion, by not hitting open shots and leaving points at the FT line. There were some bad calls both ways, including the out of bounds call on Francis where the replay appeared to show that his heel never came down on the line. Always disappointing when you get knocked out of the tourney, especially when a play or two could’ve changed the outcome. The Gators played hard, but came up short. That’s basketball. Go Gators!

  12. They played their hearts out and almost won. If this season the injured big men had played and 3gor had just a tad more self control, I believe they’d have reached the Elite Eight. I’m looking forward to the 2018-29 season under a still-learning Coach White.

  13. Thank God this season is over with!! For a team that started out so well, with high hopes, it sure went downhill. Lot’s of EXCUSES……………………what “IF?” Thank God for Baseball, and Women’s softball…………..enjoy those games folks before Football Season arrives, probably will be right up/down there with this Basketball team!!

  14. Didn’t go downhill, it went up and down and there were a lot of fun games. It is not easy winning all the time. Some of you only want Championships. The Gators have played basketball a long time and only have two basketball NC and fortunately everything came together to achieve those.

    Now that the SEC portion of Baseball and Softball has started that doesn’t look like it will be all that enjoyable as the SEC appears pretty competitive.

    To the “Character” that wants Ballard gone, you probably wanted Noah gone too after his FR year. Unreal!

    • ….and don’t forget to throw in that the only SEC teams that have even won a national championship are UF, Ark., and UK. After that, I don’t even think any other schools have even been to the championship game, much less a couple single final four runs by USC, and UGA. This team had it’s major ups and downs this year. Last night’s game was simply a microcosm of the entire season…high productivity, followed by cold stretches, followed by grinding out whatever they could. Last night’s game was a roller coaster ride, just like the season…just the way this team ended up being. Still a solid season with a tourney visit and no one and done. Unfortunate that they didn’t make it to the second weekend, but how many posters on here kept saying that they were NIT bound. If anything, this team’s defense improved by leaps and bounds compared to the beginning of the season, so if that’s not a building block going into next year, then I don’t know what is. Proud of these Gators, and will miss Chiozza’s PG poise next year, but thanks for all you gave to this program.

  15. Florida is 44-17 (.721) all-time at the NCAA Tourney. So for starters Gator fans, not many in the S.E.C. can say that! And this team was exciting as a championship caliber team at times (beating Gonzaga, beating Duke for 30 minutes, beating U.K. TWICE, beating Auburn, getting even with ‘Bama.) Then there were let downs, too (although that Loyola loss doesn’t look so bad now).
    But thanks for an overall exciting season Florida. And thank you so much for coming to Florida and allowing us to watch you grow into a great player, Chris ”Cheese” Chiozza. Thanks to big John Egbunu for some exciting moments, like 9 dunks against U.K. And thank you Egor Koulechov for becoming a Gator! Best wishes to you all in the future! But I can’t wait to see the players that stay, hint: Allen and Hudson. We’ll need your experience for any chance at another run next year. Go Gators! 3rd in the S.E.C., NCAA Tourney, it was a good season! Thank you!

  16. Glad to see Kalishnakov go. His bad shots killed Florida too many times.
    Tired of looking at Chiozza’s tats.
    Hayes will never be anything that resembles a bb player.
    Stone is too laid back and has no toughness — that won’t change.
    At the start of next season, Johnson will still be out with one of his fake concussions.
    Stokes will weigh by 330 by this October.
    Allen will be Allen, an overrated lightweight.
    Considering who the coach is, Hudson will probably leave.
    Ballard and/or Okauru will transfer — for good reason.
    Bassett might stay but he’ll only get 5-8 minutes a game with White.
    None of the recruits are over 6’5″.
    Best of all, White will still be the HC.
    But, Gator fans, if you think it looks promising next season, who am I to disagree?

  17. One of the worst days in Gator sports history. #2 baseball team gets killed by SC. #2 Softball loses 2 in row at GA and run ruled yesterday with AA pitcher giving up about 4 or 5 homers in the 2 games. Basketball team loses to a very poor Texas Tech team who might have one player who could have started at UF. Very embarrassing loss. And, few Gator fans showed up for the weekend in Dallas to watch this inconsistent team. And, before you begin, yes I was there with my son and granddaughter.
    This team had major coaching problems, particularly on coaching defense. Really strange, but White lost a timeout when he did not use it in the 1st half Thursday night. He coaches in a wide-eyed stupor, looking and acting as if he is scared too death, though he finally argued with the poor officiating Sat. This team has no assistant coach, evidently who can teach foul shooting or defense, or coach bigs. The only exception for foul shooting is Allen, with Chiozza and Egor now not able to shoot and make FT’s.
    Recruiting of bigs and players from the talented state of FL is a big, big problem. Hell, it now looks like he will lose all of the bigs who are nationally rated from FL in the next 2 classes. It also looks as though he won’t get Vernon Maxwell’s son, who is on the Duke checklist. White badly needs to find someone on his staff or hire one, who can recruit FL and find and get some talented bigs to come.

    • ” very poor Texas Tech team who might have one player who could have started at UF” Dang, who knew you knew more than the seeding committee who seeded TTU #3? And who on TTUs starting five WOULD’T start at UF? TTU’s guards could play forward for UF.

    • Texas tech is a poor team??? After you said that, credibility is lost. It was teetering with you crying over losses in baseball and softball (baseball won the series btw), but you put he nail in the coffin with the poor team comment.

      • Because he didn’t get as much playing time as he wanted. He didn’t get the playing time, because despite being a good 3 point shooter in practice, he only shot it at about 17% for the Gators when it counted. That’ll get you a permanent seat on the bench, and you’ll notice he’s not starting for Texas Tech, either. No more wondering.

        • I tried to find why Francis transferred, he was recruited by Donovan, did Donovan leaving play a part? Here is all I could find:

          Sitting in the locker room Friday at American Airlines Center, Francis didn’t want to get into the details of why he left Florida.

          “I don’t feel comfortable talking about that, but you know, it was a decision that it happens, but I’m happy to be here,” he said. “I love Texas Tech, I love Lubbock and I’m just really thankful and grateful for the opportunity Coach [Chris] Beard gave me. …

          “I wanted to be coached hard, I wanted to break some habits I had in the past, I wanted to become better. I wanted to achieve my ultimate goal, and I felt like Coach Beard had all that and I was right. He changed my life, he changed my habits and he helped me to be in the position I’m at today.”

  18. Great year overall for our boys…no shame whatsoever. Hopefully, we’ll find a way to beat FSU next year (hurts losing to them 4 years in a row). Hard to believe that seniors will graduate from UF not knowing what it feels like to beat FSU in football or basketball. Ouch!

  19. Interesting and challenging season. The team will likely be more fundamentally sound with all the talent returning and the three outstanding recruits coming in next year. I will miss watching Chizz in the future. Great college point guard and teammate. He will be sorely missed. But this kid, Newdbrand, is really an outstanding point guard who can defend, pass, and score. And Stokes will likely be the pillar of a monument that the Gators missed this year in the middle. Go Gators.

    • Nembhard, not Newdbrand, won’t even start.

      Yes, Stokes will be the “pillar of a monument” — the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

      Fundamentally sound + White = oil + water.

      Your posts would be somewhat better if you’d ignore Smith and Sparky.

      • Well, there was another overweight Gator post player who was an integral part of the 1994 Final Four team, and Udonis Haslem showed up at UF weighing about 300. If Stokes can just come close to the level of Haslem and Dametri Hill, he’ll be a great Gator.

      • Well, bf, I do not spend day and night on the computer trolling people and such. Thanks for using your advanced UNF education to educate this ignorant UF grad and how to spell a recruit’s name. Glad I made you pathetic day.

      • And, bf, wish I could wager your current bank account (likely not much) on the recruit starting next year. The kid is going to light it up, as he has on the AAU circuit all across the country this year. You do not recruit five-star point guards for them to sit on the bench, troll.

  20. Great group who, despite missing a true center and having to deal with a load of adversity, kept fighting and improving defensively and pulling together with unselfish play. They had ups and downs, but overall I thought they were a fun team to follow and left their true fans with lot of good memories. A special thanks to Cheez for his guts, heart and leadership.

    • After today, bf, Mississippi State beat UNC from your love-child conference by 21 points. But I guess MSU did not deserve to be in the tourney and certainly did not deserve to be on the floor with the Tar Heels. Opps. What an idiot you seem to be with predictions and such. Or does that apply to most of what you are about?

  21. BF: And, what 4 teams were more deserving than the last 4 from the SEC? Miss State probably should have gotten in too, and they beat Baylor in the NIT today. There was much more parity in NCAA this year, so 8 or 9 SEC teams is about right.
    And, as for your comment on UK to be the only SEC team in the final 16, UF beat UK twice. The NCAA is a lot of luck, and luck with the refs, etc. Here is one, who would rather be a Gator than a one and done Wildcat any day.

    Baseball and Softball rebounded today on the road. Yes, it is the toughest conference in the NCAA in most all sports.

  22. Texas A&M just beat UNC and it was not even close! Florida beat Texas A&M in the regular season by 17 points. What does this mean? Parity has arrived in college BB and almost any team can beat anybody any given day! Florida had a great season and us real fans will continue to root for the Mighty Gators in any sport they play! GO GATORS!!!

  23. BF–you need to check your facts. You said Florida will not make a pre-season Top 25 in football for 2018. I just checked all the “WAY TOO EARLY pre-season polls and found them on two.” Check your facts before you blow your mouth. But keep coming back. It is so much fun finding the unforced errors in your predictions.