The basketball Florida Gators enjoyed a phenomenal weekend in Orlando last week and ended it with an emphatic and convincing 16-point victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers, 61-45.
I can't begin to express how happy and relieved that game against Pitt made me. What an effort in front of what was essentially a home crowd. The Big Dude from Big Duval (Patric Young) absolutely policed the paint in combination with our Bordeaux Baller (Will Yeguette). Gator Power !!! Everybody did their job, and was content to do THEIR job, and then our hometown assassin (Scottie Wilbekin) did what he does when he's at his fearless and finishing best. What a magnificent game. Four Sweet 16's in a row for the Gators and staring at 4 Elite Eights in a row.
That, quite simply, is an incredible accomplishment.
It has taken extremely hard work for these Gators to make it to this point and these Gators wouldn't have it any other way.
Hard work, that's what they sayyyyyyy!
Hard work, I do it for playyyyyyy!
Hard work, the engines are on!
Hard work, the mission is go!
All season, our team for the ages has been the epitome of hard work, work! Constantly grinding and probing and grinding and seeking and grinding and, ultimately, FINDING a way to win. I found a column in the Los Angeles Times from Bill Plaschke that casually verifies the accepted elite status of Florida Gator basketball.
Florida, the top-seeded team in this tournament and the hottest team in the nation with 28 straight wins, will play UCLA on Thursday night in Memphis, Tenn., in the Sweet 16.
In the last eight years the Gators have beaten the Bruins in the national championship game, the national semifinals and a round-of-32 game. They have beaten them with different players, wearing different uniforms, playing at different sites. But they have beaten them with the same coach and same system while always leaving the same lingering heartache.
Billy Donovan has always dominated Ben Howland. Gators speed and savvy have always blown away Bruins skill. Gators toughness has always overwhelmed Bruins tentativeness. For much of a decade, Florida has been UCLA's measuring stick, and the Bruins have always come up awkwardly short.
Florida: the measuring stick.
Go Gators !!!