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Florida avoids Cinderella comparison with Butler
Donovan hasn’t done too badly on that front, either, and now has his best squad since his back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007.
Florida has size, athleticism and balance. Four starters _ guards Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton, along with center 6-foot-10 center Vernon Macklin and 6-9 forward Chanlder Parsons _ have averaged double figures in scoring. Alex Tyus, the one who hasn’t, was the best player in Florida’s regional semifinal victory over BYU on Thursday night, with 19 points and 17 rebounds.
When Butler takes the court against a team like Florida, it looks at first glance like a mismatch. The Bulldogs don’t appear to have the same size or the level of athlete. Even leading scorer and tournament hero Matt Howard conceded he isn’t all that graceful and probably looks a little goofy with his typically messed up hair that he often won’t bother to fix after rolling out of bed.
Howard added that Butler won’t pass what he referred to as “the look test.”
“And that’s fine, because even though you don’t have the size or the guys that just straight up jump out of the gym, the game becomes a game of execution,” Howard said. “So if you’re able to execute sometimes you can make plays even on a more athletic or a lot stronger player.”
Butler’s ability to do just that repeatedly, and often in dramatic fashion, is what has made them the small school program one that many seem inclined to root for during tournament time.
It remains to be seen if the Gators, despite the fact that they’re in SEC country, will wind up playing before a largely hostile crowd in New Orleans.
“I don’t think we’re labeled as the bad guys,” Macklin said. “We’ve just got to go out there and worry about us and execute our plays.”
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