Welcome to Day 1 of the Elite Eight, SEC fans! There are still two Southeastern Conference teams alive in the Big Dance – Florida and Kentucky. The Wildcats trounced Indiana last night and will take on the Baylor Fighting Highlighters…I mean Bears, tomorrow. As for the Gators, after upsetting No. 3 Marquette in the Sweet Sixteen, they’ll look to pull off another one, this time over the higher seeded Cardinals of Louisville in today’s first Elite Eight game. Here’s what (and who) to watch for in this game.
No. 4 Louisville (29-9) vs. No. 7 Florida (26-10)
This is the only matchup in the Elite Eight that doesn’t feature a top-seeded team. Both of these teams have had impressive postseason runs so far, though, and both certainly believe they could hang with whoever else moves on to the Final Four.
Florida stumbled into the Big Dance, but they’ve found their footing as the tournament has progressed. Thanks to slid offense and quality defense, they rolled over Virginia, Norfolk State, and Marquette. They like to shoot from beyond the arc, and if they’re effective from back there, it could spell trouble for the Cardinals.
On the other hand, Louisville has had a strong defensive presence during the season and throughout the Big Dance. The Cardinals obviously don’t want to let the Gators put another upset on their resume. The UL offense has struggled , so they’ll have to hope they can either find a spark or the defense can contain UF enough for the Cardinals to get by
The game tips off at 4:30 ET and will be televised on CBS.
What to watch for: Florida comes in averaging more than 76 points a game and giving up 66. Louisville scores just under 69 points a game and allows just above 61. This game will likely come down to whether the Cardinals defense or the Gators offense has a better day.
Who to watch for: Louisville – Kyle Kuric (12.9ppg, 4.2 rpg, .425 FG%), Russ Smith (11.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, .355 FG%); Florida – Bradley Beal (14.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, .444 FG%), Patric Young (10.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, .616 FG%)
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