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1 Ohio State vs 2 Florida
Sagarin rating: No. 1
Great history for these schools. Florida and Ohio State have met for the National Championship in football and basketball. Could this be a second go-round for the basketball national title? It also could be Notre Dame, Kansas, or a team like Louisville. I think Ohio State will make it though.
Earlier this year in the O'Connell Center, these two teams squared off. Kenny Boynton scored 21 points, but Florida could not overcome Ohio State’s second-half surge and fell, 93-75. Seniors Chandler Parsons and Vernon Macklin added in 13 and 12 points respectively and junior Erving Walker had 15. The important thing to take from this game for the Gators is that they played close in the first half.
Like I said heading into the SEC Tournament, fouls and foul shooting are key areas for Florida. In the win against Tennessee, Florida shot 25-37 from the free throw line. Against Vanderbilt, Florida only had twelve personal fouls. In the loss to Kentucky, Florida was called for 22 fouls and only shot eight free throws making three. There was some suspect officiating in that game but Florida got beat fair and square.
Heading into the NCAA Tournament, Florida's players can't get distracted by officiating or loud crowds and all the other things that come with March Madness. Florida needs to focus on themselves, connect as a team, and work on getting better. Do that, play good defense without fouling and make free throws on the other end and this team can win the National Championship.