The Florida Gators (25-8) are the No. 4 seed in the East Region, and will take on the No. 5 seed Virginia Cavaliers (23-10). The game will be played at Amway Center in Orlando at 8:40 p.m. on Saturday.
Preview: Florida took care of business against East Tennessee in the first round despite a shaky first half, dispatching ETSU 80-64. The Gators are led by guard KeVaughn Allen, who averages 13.7 points per game.
Virginia rallied from 15 down to get the 76-71 win over UNC Wilmington after leading by only one at halftime. The Cavaliers are led by London Perrantes, who averages 12.9 points and 3.8 assists per game.
Date: Saturday, March 18
Time: 8:40 p.m. E.T.
TV Channel: TNT
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Steve Lavin, and Evan Washburn
Opening Betting Line: Florida -1, via OddsShark
According to College Basketball Reference, Florida and Virginia have met twice, with each side winning one game. Both match-ups between the two sides also took place in the post-season. In the 2012 NCAA Tournament, Florida, the 7-seed in the West, beat 10-seed UVA 71-45. Virginia defeated the Gators in the 1992 NIT semifinals 62-56, and went on to win that tournament.
Florida has appeared in the tournament 19 times, and the Gators have advanced to five Final Fours. They have a tournament record of 42-17, and have won two national championships.
Virginia has appeared in the tournament 20 times, and the Cavaliers have advanced to two Final Fours. They have a tournament record of 28-20, and have never won a national championship.
Prediction:I'm taking the Gators in this one. Florida has the length and quickness to stifle Virginia's half-court offense, and if it can slow down Perrantes, the Cavaliers will once again find themselves in trouble. Unlike the first-round match-up against UNC-Wilmington, a deficit won't be quite as easy to make up against the Gators. Florida by six.
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