Gator News And World Report (3/12/2005)

The Gator News and World Report for Saturday, March 12, 2005. Gators with authority; 'Dogs couldn't match Florida's enthusiasm; Gators wary of Crimson Tide; Gators have a blast at Spartans' expense; A 30-footer? No worries for UF's Walsh; Gators prowling at NCAA Indoor; Tough defense inside, hot shooting lead to big win; Gators Have All The Fun In SEC Win; UF Out To Extend Dominance; No. 5 Vandy Upends 2nd-Ranked Florida and more...

Florida Gator Basketball

Gators with authority
Moments before his first Southeastern Conference Tournament game, Corey Brewer pulled up a 50 Cent CD on his iPod and took in the tunes.

'Dogs couldn't match Florida's enthusiasm
They were bouncing off each other in the hallway outside their locker room at the Georgia Dome, screaming and shouting and smiling, jumping into long arms of teammates.

Gators wary of Crimson Tide
Florida will go into its SEC Tournament semifinal today with the confidence of knowing that it beat Alabama earlier in the season.

A 30-footer? No worries for UF's Walsh
Florida junior guard Matt Walsh is getting this long-range shooting act down pat.

Tough defense inside, hot shooting lead to big win
It's easy to get lost in the gaudy offensive numbers of Florida's 80-64 victory over Mississippi State on Friday afternoon at the Georgia Dome.

Gators Have All The Fun In SEC Win
The freshman gawked Friday when he saw the basketball court planted on the floor of the domed football stadium.

UF Out To Extend Dominance
Florida G Anthony Roberson wanted no part of a discussion of the recent history between the Gators and Alabama, who face off today at 1 p.m. in the SEC Tournament semifinals.

Gators roll into SEC semifinals
Seated in front of his locker following Florida's 80-64 victory against Mississippi State on Friday, forward Corey Brewer gazed up at reporters with those wide-open eyes and winked.

Gators get payback for ugly loss to Bulldogs
It's tough to forget the image of Matt Walsh, who was so frustrated after Florida was embarrassed by Mississippi State on Feb. 1 that he refused to go home after the team flew back to Gainesville that night from Starkville. There was Walsh at 4 a.m., taking one shot after another in a deserted gym.

Gators get in groove, advance to semis
The Florida Gators looked like their old selves again — and the timing couldn't be better.

On-target Florida too much for MSU
They were a portrait of weary after Friday's game. Sitting in their locker room chairs, mostly silent or speaking in whispers, looking as much beaten up as simply beaten.

'Whipped' describes Bulldogs on, off court
Mississippi State's Rick Stansbury said his team's seeding for the NCAA Tournament — whether it's 7, 8, 9 or 10 — "really doesn't matter."

Improving Florida rolls past Mississippi State
The Florida team that Alabama will face in today's SEC tournament semifinals is far different than the Gators squad that beat the Crimson Tide by 31 points.

Gators seek respect
The Florida Gators will take it. The Gators will take being out of the top 25 and off the national radar. Because despite the lack of love, Florida suddenly looks like a true contender for the Southeastern Conference crown.

Brewer gives Gators a boost
Seated in front of his locker following Florida's 80-64 win against Mississippi State on Friday, forward Corey Brewer gazed up at reporters with those wide-open eyes and winked.

Florida may be team to beat
By numbers, LSU was the hottest basketball team in the Southeastern Conference going into the league tournament that began Thursday since the Tigers carried a six-game winning streak into their game late Friday against Auburn.

Florida sprints into semifinals
Less than a week after knocking off Kentucky in Gainesville, Florida's Gators have not lost their intensity.

Gators rise up at both ends of floor
After relying heavily on its improving defense in the final four games of the regular season, Florida's postseason goal, coach Billy Donovan said, was to rediscover the balance.

Florida Gator Baseball

Gators have a blast at Spartans' expense
ometimes, it just looks easy.Such was the case for the Florida baseball team Friday night in front of 1,673 at McKethan Stadium, where it whipped Michigan State, 17-1, in the first of a three-game weekend series.

Florida 17, Michigan St. 1
Brian Leclerc's grand slam highlighted a three-homer, seven-run fifth inning as Florida beat Michigan State 17-1 Friday night.

Florida Gator Track & Field

Gators prowling at NCAA Indoor
Five UF athletes earned All-America honors after the first day of competition at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday at the Randal Tyson Track Center before a crowd of more than 5,000. The second-ranked men's squad stands tied for fourth with Arizona State and Stanford, while the fourth-ranked women's team is tied for fifth with BYU.

Florida Gator Stacey Poole

Ex-Gator Poole receives honor
Stacey Poole was honored during halftime of Friday's Florida-Mississippi State game as part of the SEC's annual Chick-fil-A Basketball Legends program.

Florida Gator Tennis

No. 5 Vandy Upends 2nd-Ranked Florida
The second-ranked University of Florida women's tennis team lost for the first time this season, falling 4-3 at No. 5 Vanderbilt Friday afternoon at the Currey Tennis Complex.

Florida Gator Football

UF's five biggest impact players since 1996 National title team
Brady Ackerman, former University of Florida football player and host of the Ack and Mac ESPN radio show, rates for FLORIDA TODAY the top five impact Gator football players since the 1996 national championship season.

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