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Gators win their 29th straight, down UCLA 79-68
Question of the Day
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The Florida Gators are back where their last three seasons have ended with yet another chance to go to the Final Four.
Being in the Elite Eight again, though, simply isn’t enough.
“We just talked about it, and it’s not enough for us,” Florida senior Will Yeguete said. “We have two days to get ready for a good team, and we’re just going to go for it on Saturday.”
The Gators (35-2) also extended the best winning streak in school history to 29 straight in reaching the South Regional final.
“From a team aspect, I think we’ve done a great job of just staying in the moment and just trying to chase greatness,” Frazier said. “When you do that, complacency isn’t a factor so I think we’ve done a great job all year of just staying in the moment and chasing greatness.”
The tournament’s overall top seed will play 11th-seeded Dayton on Saturday night for a trip to the Final Four. Dayton beat Stanford 82-72 earlier Thursday night.
“Right now we got to put this game behind us and get focused on Dayton,” Florida senior Scottie Wilbekin said. “They’re a great team. Everybody is at this point in the season, and so we got to be locked in and ready because it’s going to be a battle.”
Wilbekin added 13 points for Florida. Casey Prather had 12 points, and Dorian Finney-Smith had 10. Kasey Hill had 10 assists. The Gators have not lost since Dec. 2.
The Gators lost to Michigan a year ago in a regional final.
“But it’s a new team that we have, and we’re playing a new team so it’s a totally different situation,” Wilbekin said. “We’re just excited to get this win and move onto the next game. We’re totally focused on that. The past has no impact.”
UCLA (28-9) was back in a regional semifinal for the first time since 2008 under first-year coach Steve Alford. But the Bruins just couldn’t match Florida’s physical defense or outshoot the Gators. UCLA now is 0-4 against Florida coach Billy Donovan all-time - all in the NCAA tournament.
“They played very well,” Alford said of the Gators. “They are an outstanding basketball team.”
Florida shot 50 percent for the game (29 of 58), including 59.3 percent in the second half. UCLA finished 42.2 percent (27 of 64) shooting in only their fifth game scoring under 70 points this season. The Bruins were a cold 1 of 12 beyond the arc in the second half.
Jordan Adams led the Bruins with 17 points, Kyle Anderson had 11 and five assists with nine rebounds. Travis Wear added 14.
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