South Region - Second Round
(32-2, 18-0 SEC)
What You Need To Know: The nation’s top team survived a brutal SEC tournament, but now they’re battle tested. The Gators built their success around defense and wearing teams down with their length and athleticism, thanks to a group of players who completely bought into Billy Donovan’s system. They’re playing with a chip on their shoulder despite all the success they've enjoyed this season. This is an ego-free ballclub on the court, and Florida can hurt teams in a variety of ways. Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II are both quality scorers in the paint, and Prather is a man among boys with his strength and quickness inside. Frazier can knock down the open three-pointer, and he helps stretch the floor. Scottie Wilbekin can take over games with his command and presence to go along with his solid defensive play. Patric Young and Dorian Finney-Smith are both helpful on the glass and are fantastic in transition. All the pieces are there for Florida to make a deep run.
Strengths: Scoring Defense, Turnover Margin, Rebounding
Weaknesses: Free Throw Shooting, Blocked Shots, Scoring
(18-14, 9-7 Am. East)
Albany Great Danes
What You Need To Know: The Great Danes earned their fourth trip to the Big Dance by winning the America East Tournament thanks to their signature tough defense allowing just 63.8 points a game. Albany showed it’s willing to battle with the big boys, even though is lost by 12 to Pitt earlier this season. Will Brown's squad is balanced, and although it doesn't boast a boatload of athleticism, it’s patient with the ball. The 6-4 Australian, Peter Hooley, is a quality scorer and a great three-point shooter to go along with his passing skills. Sam Rowley provides a presence inside, and D.J. Evans and Gary Johnson bring balance and depth to the floor. Albany's experience in the Big Dance -- the Great Danes went last season -- could help the team this time around.
Strengths: Scoring Defense, Free Throws, Rebounding
Weaknesses: Three-Pointers, Scoring, Assist-Turnover Ratio