The Next Step: Your Elite-8 Headquarters

The Florida Gators are at that point again. In both of the last two years, the Gators season ended in the Elite-8 contest and just before the Final Four. The Gators are far from home in Arlington, Texas, but so is opponent Michigan. Florida has a decided advantage in experience with three senior starters and two juniors. Michigan counters with three freshmen starting and a sophomore All-American.

Florida has its hands full defensively while it tries to guard a very efficient Michigan offense. However, Florida prides itself on its defense and that is a stalwart part of their game.

In that sense it is a matchup of styles although Florida does have a relatively efficient offense as well. Michigan on the other hand struggles a little on the defensive side of the ball and this is where Florida must take advantage.

A couple of things to note about the weekend… Michigan played in an overtime game and saw four of its starters register at least 39 minutes on the floor against a run and gun Kansas squad. They ended their game at roughly 10 pm Friday night. That gives them about 40 hours to get proper sleep for two nights and a practice session in before playing against Florida.

Contrast that with the Gators where senior Mike Rosario was the only Gator to top 30 minutes logging 32. The Gators did play later, and they were in an up-and-down the court game to begin with, but by the end of the contest they were dictating style and pace of the game and really slowed down after getting a big lead.

Then we find out that Billy Donovan also called for a short practice for his team to get off their legs and rest even more. He used the extra time to scout Michigan and they will do film work to compensate for time on the court.

Does this mean Donovan wants to amp it up defensively against Michigan with rested legs? I think so, but here is part of the chess match that will be a part of the biggest game of the year, and maybe the last six years for the Gators. It should be fun.

Who: #3 Seed Florida (29-7) vs. #4 Seed Michigan (29-7)
What: Match-up in the Elite-8 for the right to go to the Final Four
When: Sunday, March 31, 2:20 pm (eastern)
Where: Arlington, Texas; Cowboys Stadium
Watch: CBS

Florida Probable Starters:

G- Kenny Boynton (SR, 6-2, 190) (Avg-12 pts., 3 reb, 3 ast.)
G- Mike Rosario (SR, 6-3, 183) (12.5 pts., 2.5 reb.)
G- Scottie Wilbekin (JR, 6-2, 176) (9.2 pts., 5.0 ast.)
F- Erik Murphy (SR, 6-10, 238) (12.8 pts, 5.5 reb)
C- Patric Young (JR, 6-9, 249) (10.3 pts, 6.5 reb)

Key Reserves
F- Will Yeguete (JR, 6-7, 240,) (5.3 pts, 5.7 reb)
F- Casey Prather (JR, 6-6, 208) (6.0 pts, 3.7 reb.)
G- Michael Frazier (FR, 6-4, 200) (5.8 pts, 3.8 reb)

Michigan Probable Staters:
G- Tim Hardaway, JR (JR, 6-6, 205) (14.8 pts, 4.6 reb, 2.6 ast)
G- Trey Burke (SO, 6-0, 190) (18.9 pts, 3.0 reb, 6.8 ast)
G- Nik Stauskas (FR, 6-6, 190) (11.3 pts. 5.6 reb)
F – Mitch McGary (FR, 6-10, 250) (15.6 pts, 11.0 reb) **avg. of last five games started only
F- Glenn Robinson III (FR, 6-6, 210) (11.1 pts, 5.6 reb)

Key Reserves:
F- Jordan Morgan (JR, 6-8, 250) (4.9 pts, 4.7 reb) *** started 27 games
F- Jon Horford (SO, 6-10, 250) (2.7 pts, 2.2 reb)
G- Caris LeVert (SO, 6-5, 170) (2.3 pts)

The Latest(just click the links):
No time to rest for Wolverines after OT win
Beilein and crew put amaizing win behind them
Donovan and starting five talk Michigan
Trey Burke gears up for Gators
Video: Victory indeed "sweet" for Gators

Fightin Gators Top Stories