Obtaining a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament doesn’t guarantee success, but it sure does help. You have probably heard the statistic that a 1 has never lost to a 16-seed (bracket tip 101), and yet, with the parity in college basketball as it is, being on the top line can be risky business during the first weekend. Just a year ago, Gonzaga was ousted by Wichita State in the round of 32 after barely hanging on against 16-seed Southern.
Here is a close look at the 32-2 Florida Gators, who dominated the SEC from the outset (18-0) and have made three straight Elite Eights.
Florida has done it all year with a remarkable blend of unselfishness, terrific defense and nearly five scorers in double-digits. There may not be a first-round NBA Draft pick on the roster, and yet, with wins over Kansas, Kentucky (twice) and Memphis, they have been college basketball’s most consistent team from start to finish in terms of the Power Six conferences. But other than Michael Frazier II, Florida’s Achilles' heel is a lack of perimeter shooters. And Frazier -– who converts nearly 46 percent from three -- is not a creative scorer off the bounce. That role is designed for Scottie Wilbekin, the senior point guard and conference player of the year. If you can limit Wilbekin, you then limit Frazier's clean looks. In turn, Florida’s ability to spread the floor is significantly reduced. One key note is that senior center Patric Young is a rebounding machine in the middle, and his rebounding is often the impetus to the Gator fast break. Get Young in foul trouble early, however, and Billy Donovan's team could be in trouble.
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