MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Billy Donovan pushed his career record to 7-1 in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament after his Florida Gators (35-2) defeated the UCLA Bruins (28-9) 79-68.
The game started with a disconnected first few minutes before Florida’s outside shooting ignited for a quick stretch.
Guard Michael Frazier was integral in a 16-5 first half run from the 14:43 mark until the 9:18 mark in the first half. During the spurt, Frazier hit three of Florida’s four three pointers and the Gators were able to extend their lead to as many as nine points. UCLA would battle back though, getting the deficit to three, but that was close as they would get. Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin’s missed three at the buzzer ended the half, unable to replicate his end of first half heroics from the Pittsburgh game.
The second half would begin with the Gators taking control, extending their lead to 11. UCLA, to its credit, would not go quietly into the Memphis night, battling back to — at one point — only a one-point deficit before Florida forward Dorian Finney-Smith sunk a long jumper to extend UF’s lead to three.
Scottie Wilbekin would takeover from there, piloting the Gators to the finish with circus layups and the poise that earned him SEC Player of the Year honors.
Florida was led in scoring by guard Michael Frazier who had 19 points. Freshman Kasey Hill led UF with 10 assists and senior Will Yeguete led in rebounds with seven.
For UCLA, the Bruins were led by guard Jordan Adams who had 17 points, guard/forward Kyle Anderson sat atop the box score in rebounds and assists with nine and five respectively.
Florida advances to play the Dayton Flyers in the Elite Eight. This will be the Gators fourth consecutive Elite Eight appearance, a school record.