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No. 1 Florida survives a scare from No. 16 Albany


Florida entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 1 seed in the South Region, the No. 1 overall seed, the No. 1 team in the country and the favorite to win a national title.

And in their opener against No. 16 seed Albany, they looked anything but the part.

The Great Danes led until late in the first half, tied the game up at 39 with less than 15 minutes left and were not out of contention until the final minutes, losing 67-55, despite the fact that their two leading scorers combined for just nine points on 2-for-18 shooting.

Safe to say, Billy Donovan was not happy with the performance.

“To be honest with you, I’m a little bit baffled with our team right now. I really am,” he said during the postgame interview.

What was wrong?

Frankly, it looked like the Gators expected to walk into the gym and have Albany roll over and play dead, and the Great Danes weren’t about to quit with their season on the line. They routinely beat Florida’s press and got easy shots out of it. They routinely beat the Gators down the floor. Florida is bigger, more athletic and more talented, which is why they won. Not because they played like they wanted it more.

I expect that to change on Saturday, when Florida will take on No. 9 seed Pitt, who knocked off No. 8 Colorado in impressive fashion in the South Region opener. It seems like every year, there are one or two No. 1 seeds that get a scare simply because they assume playing a No. 16 seed is a bye.

And, at the end of the day, a win is all that matters in the NCAA tournament.

Florida got that.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s ‘Dancing Guy’ has scary fall while carrying girl

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Kentucky’s ‘Dancing Guy’ has turned into a fan favorite at Rupp Arena.

Every home game, during one of the TV timeouts in the second half, ‘Mony Mony’ will come on, Dancing Guy will hop into the aisle and he’ll break it down like only a middle-aged white guy from Kentucky can.

As you can see, it didn’t quite go all that well for Dancing Guy on Tuesday night, as he tried to do a rail slide while holding a young, female fan and completely ate it.

Here’s another angle of the fall:

It looks much scarier that it actually was, as all reports indicate that everyone made it through the fall healthy.

No. 5 Xavier stumbles at Creighton, lose 70-54

Creighton's Cole Huff (13) and Toby Hegner, left, guard Xavier's Jalen Reynolds (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Mo Watson went for a career-high 32 points, seven boards and five assists as Creighton jumped out to an early 21-4 lead and never looked back, beating No. 5 Xavier, 70-54, in Omaha on Tuesday night.


It was a massive win for the Bluejays, who still have an outside shot at earning an at-large bid this season. (We wrote all about that here.)

As well as Creighton played, the bigger story here may actually be Xavier, who lost for just the third time this season; they had been the only top ten team with just two losses to their name.

The issue for the Musketeers tonight was two-fold, but they both are a symptom of what could be an issue down the road for this team: Xavier doesn’t really have a true point guard.

They certainly didn’t have anyone to stop Watson. By the second half, they had essentially asked Reynolds, who was playing the middle of their 1-3-1 zone to matchup with Watson. It was weird but was actually somewhat effective.

The Musketeers also started out ice cold from the floor, missing 11 of their first 13 shots, and those misses led to leak outs from Bluejays, who got layups and open threes in transition to build that 17 point lead. Once Xavier got behind, it turned into scramble mode for Xavier. They forced shots early in the clock and didn’t start pounding the ball into the paint until it was too late. What they needed was someone to be able to settle things, to ensure that offensive would get initiated and sets would get executed when they were able to get the lead down to single digits.

That 1-for-19 shooting performance from beyond the arc certainly didn’t help matters, and neither did the fact that they got just nine field goals all game from players not named James Farr or Jalen Reynolds. The most frustrating part for head coach Chris Mack? They had good shots. It wasn’t like Creighton took away everything that Xavier wanted to do.

The kids just had one of those nights where nothing went down.

Those happen.

And when you combine them with a total inability to contain the opposing team’s point guard, what you get is a 16 point loss on the road against a team that was desperate to get a good win.