This has been the tournament of rematches for Florida.
In the round of 32, the Gators knocked off UCLA in a rematch of the 2006 NCAA title game. After beating BYU in a rematch of a double overtime classic from last season’s NCAA Tournament, Florida advances to face No. 8 seed Butler, whom they beat in the first round back in 2000 on this memorable buzzer beater from Mike Miller.
This matchup should be just as intriguing.
Florida is a very talented team. They are at their best when they are executing in the half court, playing inside out basketball. Butler, on the other hand, has seemingly rediscovered the defensive intensity that carried them to last season’s Final Four.
Its tough not to like Florida in this game. They are more talented and more athletic. Butler will have no answer for Chandler Parsons and, depending on the severity of the ankle injury suffered by center Andrew Smith on Thursday night, may not have one for Alex Tyus and Vernon Macklin.
That’s all true.
But it is also true that Butler was tough to like against Wisconsin. And Pitt. And Old Dominion for that matter.
Are the Bulldogs a team of destiny? Again?