History of Florida Final Fours

Florida beat Dayton on Saturday to clinch the program's fifth appearance in the Final Four and the first since 2007. After falling short in the Elite Eight the past three seasons, the Florida seniors played a big role in the run the team made to earn a trip to Texas next weekend. We take a look at each of Florida's Final Four teams.


The only Florida basketball team to make the Final Four without Billy Donovan as the head coach, the 1993-94 team reached the Final Four for the first time in program history under Lon Kruger. The team took pride in its hustle and outworking opponents.

The 93-94 team set a school record at the time with 29 wins after going 12-4 in SEC play. The team went 9-3 in games decided by five points or less. Four of the five starters that season started all 37 games, including the same starting lineup for the last 22 games.

Dan Cross led that team with 15.7 points per game while shooting 44.4 percent from behind the three-point line, including four game-winning shots. He earned All-SEC honors and Honorable Mention All-America honors as the Florida point guard.

Craig Brown averaged 14.8 points and set a school record at the time with 89 three-pointers. Demetri Hill, better known as "Da Meat Hook," averaged 12.7 points and 4.9 rebounds, cleaning up the glass with co-captain and future NBA player Andrew DeClercq.

Florida moved to the Elite Eight after an overtime win over Connecticut before securing an eight-point win to reach the Final Four. Duke ended Florida's season with in the national semifinal.


This is the first time Billy Donovan coached a team to the Final Four. The Gators won the SEC regular season championship with a 12-4 record and played in the program's first national championship game. Florida ended the year ranked No. 2 and was ranked from the beginning to the end of the season for the first time in school history.

The highlight moment of the season came on Mike Miller's buzz beater win over Butler in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, helping the Gators avoid an upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Florida made the tournament as a No. 5 seed and avoided the dreaded 12-5 upset.

After a blowout win over Illinois, the Gators beat No. 1 seed Duke 87-78 and moved on to the Final Four after a win over Oklahoma State. Florida continued its run of wins over powerhouse basketball programs with a 12-point win over North Carolina in the national semifinal. The Gators ran into a red hot Michigan State team in the national championship game and saw their season end at the hands of Mateen Cleaves and Morris Peterson.

Mike Miller led the team with 14.1 points while Udonis Haslem averaged 11.8 points. Freshman Donnell Harvey had 10.1 points and seven rebounds.


Florida started the season unranked, but that didn't last long. The Gators opened the year with a 17-game winning streak, dropping its first game at Tennessee on January 21. The team finished conference play with a 10-6 record and ended the entire year with a 33-6 record.

The team had success because of its balanced approach. All five Florida starters averaged in double figures, led by Joakim Noah with 14.2 points and 7.1 rebounds. Lee Humphrey was the starter with the fewest points, averaging 10.9 points and providing the three-point shooting to keep opponents from closing down on the Gators' dominant big men.

Florida opened the NCAA Tournament as a No. 3 seed, earning blowout wins over South Alabama and Milwaukee to reach the Sweet 16. After a four-point win over Georgetown, the Gators beat No. 1 seed Villanova by 13 points to reach the Final Four. After beating tournament Cinderella George Mason in the national semifinal, Florida finished a 73-57 win over UCLA to win the program's first national championship.

And then, they all came back.


The Gators opened the 2006-07 season with the target on their back. In the previous year, they were able to sneak up on teams that didn't know the development of the starting lineup. The 2006-07 season started with names like Al Horford, Noah and Corey Brewer all in the conversation for the best player in college basketball.

The Gators lost non-conference games against Kansas and Florida State before ripping off 17 straight wins on their way to the SEC championship. They entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed while beating Jackson State and Purdue to advance to the Sweet 16. Florida finished eight-point wins over Butler and Oregon to advance to its second straight Final Four. The Gators saw a familiar face and beat UCLA by 10 points before finishing an 84-75 win over Ohio State to bring the national title to Gainesville for the second straight season.

Brewer, Horford and Noah were all selected in the top nine picks of the NBA Draft in the following season.


Since those back-to-back title teams, the Gators have been just shy of getting back to the Final Four. Florida finished its season with a loss in the Elite Eight during the last three seasons, but that changed after Saturday's win against Dayton. The Gators make their fifth Final Four appearance in program history while riding a 30-game winning streak into the national semifinal.

Florida's streak of four straight Elite Eights is even more impressive when considering no program in the country has reached even the Sweet 16 in the last four seasons. The Gators completed an 18-0 SEC season, the first time in conference history that a team has done that. The four-man senior class of Casey Prather, Scottie Wilbekin, Will Yeguete and Patric Young now holds the school record with 120 career wins.

The 30-game winning streak is two shy of the longest streak in SEC history set by Kentucky in 1954-55 when it won 32 straight. The Gators can tie that streak with a national championship.

The seniors are now two wins away from completing their final seasons at Florida the way they always wanted.

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