ROUNDBALL DAILY

NCAA Tournament Predictions: West Region 7. Florida vs. 10. Virginia

By: Kels Dayton

 7 Florida (23-10, 10-6 SEC)- The Gators reached the Elite Eight last season behind the play of waterbug guards Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker, both of whom can be deadly three-point shooters.

Kenny Boynton (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Boynton leads the Gators with 16.3 points per game, while Walker took on more of a facilitating role, averaging 12.1 points and 4.7 assists per game. Freshman guard Bradley Beal came right in and made an impact in Gainesville, averaging 14.6 points and 6.5 rebounds.

Forward Patric Young is a force down low, and former McDonald’s All-American Mike Rosario is electric off the bench.

If the Gators survive Virginia, they will be a very tough matchup for Missouri in Round 2.

KEY STATS:

27th Points per game

34th Assists per game

66th Field goal percentage

Team stats courtesy of bbstate.com.

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  10 Virginia (22-9, 9-7 ACC)- The Cavaliers have had a renaissance under head coach Tony Bennett, who has instilled an incredible defensive intensity in this group. 6-8 Senior forward Mike Scott is an ACC Player of the Year and All-American candidate, having averaged 18.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this season.

Forward Mike Scott (Photo:www.ballinisahabit.com)

The Cavs relied on Scott for most of their offense, but they relied more on stingy defense and rebounding to win games. Virginia ranked 2nd in the nation in points allowed (53.7), and seventh in rebounding margin, holding opponents to just 29.3 boards per game.

Virginia plays at a snail’s pace, but it is effective and can wear teams down. This is a very interesting matchup stylistically, because run-and-gun Florida likes to push the pace.

The Cavs have also brought back the early 2000’s Allen-Iverson cornrows look, so there’s that.

KEY STATS:

2nd Points Allowed per game (53.7)

7th Opponent Rebounds Per Game (29.3)

27th Field Goal Percentage Against (39.6)

 

PREDICTION: Florida  

Team stats courtesy www.statsheet.com.

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