Now that Florida has reached a second straight Final Four, I’ve been asked
one question over and over and it’s not about Billy Donovan and Kentucky.
It’s this – how do you beat Florida?
And I have the answer, even though it’s not going to do Ben Howland, John
Thompson III or Thad Matta any good.
You play them at home.
Over the past two years, the Gators have lost 11 games. Two of them have
come in Gainesville (Tennessee and South Carolina last season). Only one of
them has come on a neutral court and that was hardly neutral. Florida lost
to Kansas earlier this season in Las Vegas in front of a pro-Jayhawks crowd
that stormed the court as if it was an on-campus facility.
The other eight of those losses have come on the road – Alabama, Arkansas,
South Carolina and Tennessee last season; Vanderbilt, Tennessee, LSU and
Florida State this season.
At neutral sites, these Gators are deadly. They are 22-1 over the last two
seasons when playing off campuses. They are also 12-0 in domes the past
three years. The Gators won the 2005 and 2007 SEC Tournament titles in the
There’s another reason to think Florida has a good shot at a repeat this
weekend. Georgetown-Ohio State, UCLA-Florida. The first initials of the
matchups spell out G-O-U-F.