Monday, March 19, 2007

Sweet 16

A Purdue team that simply refused to go away gave this Gator fan some tense moments, but in the end the dominant low post play of Al Horford put the Gators over the top against the Boilermakers.

I, for one, am glad I we get the better part of a week off before playing next.

As the tournament has progressed, Florida’s regular season record has started to look far more impressive. This Florida team lost 5 games – none at home – against Kansas, FSU, Vanderbilt, LSU and Tennessee. Of those 5 teams, 3 are present as Sweet 16 contenders in Kansas, Vandy and UT, while FSU is bound for the NIT quarterfinals. Only the LSU loss at Baton Rouge could be considered a “bad loss” at this point.

As for conferences, the remaining 16 teams break down as follows –

SEC – 3
Pac 10 – 3
Big 12 – 2
Big East – 2
C-USA - 1
Horizon – 1
Missouri Valley – 1
Mountain West – 1
Big 10 – 1
ACC – 1

Despite it’s reputation (well deserved), the ACC is not the ACC of past years.

And but for a miracle, the Big 10 would be without a team right now, which was eloquently noted by Dan Wetzel in this column.

This quote by Wetzel left me chuckling - “How long until Commissioner Jim Delany posts an "open letter" on the league website ripping all these tall, fast guys that beat his teams for being dumb and not fit socially for the Big Ten?”

Show 'em the fire we need!

As for the Gators facing Butler in St Louis this Friday, I think this Gator team needs to play with a little more fire if they are going to go to Atlanta. It was nice to see the adjustment to the inside game after the poor perimeter shooting earlier in the contest, and it is great to know that we have so many weapons and options, but allowing teams to hang around is going to cost us at some point in this tournament.

1 comment:

JJ Gator said...

Good point about the inconsistencies on the perimeter, Mergz - especially where Lee Humphrey is concerned. When he's hot he's hot, and when he's not he's unproductive out there.

Another concern I have is with the number of turnovers we're committing, especially in the first half of games. Had we not caused momentum to swing in our favor with the adjustment made and more aggressive offense in the second half against Purdue, we'd likely be out of the tournament right now.

The Gators have probably the easiest route to the Final Four, but they can also be upset by either Butler or possibly Oregon in the Elite Eight round if they don't bring their "A" game and continue to make the number of mistakes they're making. Hopefully the rough spots will be "ironed out" in practice before this weekend.