NCAA Tournament Predictions: 3. Florida vs. 14. Northwestern State

Guard Kenny Boynton

Guard Kenny Boynton

 3 Florida (26-7, 14-4)- The Gators were untouchable in January, smoking SEC opponents by scores of 77-44, 83-52 and 84-47. They’ve slipped up recently, losing to Kentucky, Tennessee and Ole Miss. The Gators have as much talent as any team in the nation andwill be hungry to advance past the Elite Eight, which is where their season has come to an end in each of the past two years. Senior point guard Kenny Boynton will take the big shots down the stretch for the Gators, and will make it his mission to get Florida into the Final Four.

Four players average 12-plus points per game, led by forward Erik Murphy. Big man Patric Young is a load inside, averaging 10.3 points per game. Mike Rosario is quick and athletic and plays great defense. He’s also a terrific three point shooter. Florida is at its best when it is running up and down the court and putting pressure on teams.


8th Field Goal Percentage (.484)

64th Points Per Game (71.9)

33rd Assists Per Game (15.0)


Guard Shamir Davis (USA Today)

Guard Shamir Davis (USA Today)

 14 Northwestern State (27-4, 16-2 Southland)- The Demons lead the nation in scoring at 81 points per game. They also rank 13th in rebounds per game, 24th in assists and 48th in field goal percentage. This is a good team. Four players average in double figures, led by 6-7 junior DeQuan Hicks, who put up 14.1 ppg. The Demons play a frenetic style and love to push the tempo, so Florida may not be the best matchup for them.

This team knows how to win. The Demons have won 13 of 15 and finished the year 25-8, 17-3 in the Southland Conference. They have virtually no bad losses, and played a tough non-conference schedule, losing to Arkansas, Oklahoma, LSU, and Texas A&M. This team fits the profile of one that could pull a stunning first-round upset.



1st Points Per Game (81.0)

13th Rebounds Per Game (39.3)

24th Assists Per Game (15.5)


PREDICTION:  Northwestern State 



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