Elite Eight Schedule: Florida's Guards Will Lead Gators to Final Four

Justin WeltonAnalyst IIMarch 24, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 22:  (L-R) Patric Young #4, Bradley Beal #23, Erving Walker #11, Erik Murphy #33 and Kenny Boynton #1 of the Florida Gators walk on the court after a time out while taking on the Marquette Golden Eagles during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Semifinal game at US Airways Center on March 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker and Bradley Beal provide one of the best backcourts in the country. They will prove it Saturday against Louisville en route to the 2012 Final Four.

Boynton and Walker seem like they have been at Florida for seven years. They provide the experience and talent level capable of doing damage in a one-game elimination-style tournament. 

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 22:  Kenny Boynton #1 of the Florida Gators reacts in the second half while taking on the Marquette Golden Eagles during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Semifinal game at US Airways Center on March 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Ari
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Both are double-digit scorers, grab about three rebounds per game and average eight assists as a tandem.

Beal is the difference-maker. He's a lottery pick in the NBA whenever he decides to declare for the draft. He has averaged 15 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals and a block per game. He can do it all.

The freshman turned it on once the SEC Tournament began. Since Florida's first game in the SEC Tournament, Beal hasn't scored less than 14 points.

Against Marquette, an athletic, guard-oriented club, Beal shot 8-of-10 from the floor for 21 points. He proved that he isn't afraid of the moment. 

Boynton, Walker and Beal have the ability to lead this Florida club past any team remaining in the field. They made 236 three-pointers as a unit—more than most teams have collectively. 

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 18:  Erving Walker #11 of the Florida Gators drives for a shot attempt in the first half against Kyle O'Quinn #10 of the Norfolk State Spartans during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on
Eric Francis/Getty Images

If you know anything about college basketball, the three-pointer is the ultimate equalizer. Florida made 349 three-pointers on the season and its guard combinations combined for well more than half of those numbers.

When one guy is off, another could be on. When another guy is off, another could be on. But when they're all on, this is the most dangerous team in the tournament. 

Florida can defeat any team in the country with the guards they possess. 

Louisville's defense has been the No. 1 reason why they have made it this far. It started in the Big East Tournament when they held teams to 55 points per game. Through three games in the 2012 NCAA tournament, Louisville has held teams to 54 points per game.

They can certainly turn it up defensively. 

It will be your classic offense vs. defense game that will ultimately be won by Florida because they aren't bad defensively, either.

Prediction: Florida 68, Louisville 65

Elite Eight Schedule:


Florida vs. Louisville — 4:30 p.m. EST on CBS

Ohio State vs. Syracuse — 7:05 p.m. EST on CBS


Baylor vs. Kentucky — 2:20 p.m. EST on CBS

Kansas vs. North Carolina — 5:05 p.m. EST on CBS