Norfolk State, Florida Square Off In NCAA Tournament Third Round
Norfolk State made history on Friday, becoming the fifth No. 15 seed to ever beat a No. 2 seed after eliminating the Missouri Tigers from the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans will try to rewrite the history books again on Sunday, trying to become the first No. 15 seed to ever advance to the Sweet 16.
Led by Kyle O'Quinn, Norfolk State will have to take on a strong Florida Gators squad that didn't have any trouble beating No. 10 Virginia in the first game.
Florida crushed Virginia 71-45 being a surprise performance from Casey Prather on a day its 3-point shooters shot a miserable 4-for-23 from long range.
Will Norfolk State catch Florida in another cold game and capitalize? Or will Florida end Norfolk State's magical run to advance to the Sweet 16.
*All stats, records and rankings as of start of tournament.
NO. 7 FLORIDA
Overall Record: 23-10
Conference Record: 10-6
Conference Tournament Outcome Lost To Kentucky In Semis
Points Scored Per Game: 76.3
Points Allowed Per Game: 66.0
AP Ranking: 25
RPI Ranking: 29
KenPom Ranking: 19
Standout Player: Bradley Beal
Season In Review: Florida played its out-of-conference opponents well, winning games over Florida State, Texas A&M and Arizona (losses to Syracuse and Ohio State). But the Gators didn't finish strong in SEC play, losing three games in a row to close out the regular season and falling to Kentucky in the conference semifinals.
Tournament Experience: 32-14, 16 appearances, 4 Final Fours, 2 National Championships
NO. 15 NORFOLK STATE
Overall Record: 25-9
Conference Record: 13-3
Conference Tournament Outcome Won The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament
Points Scored Per Game: 69
Points Allowed Per Game: 66.6
AP Ranking: none
RPI Ranking: 129
KenPom Ranking: 188
Standout Player: Kyle O'Quinn
Season In Review: The Spartans got off to a rough start to the season with five losses in their first 12 games, two of which were to Marquette (only lost the second by two). But they certainly ended strong, winning seven straight games including the MEAC Tournament to close out the season.
Tournament Experience: None