Gator News And World Report (3/14/2005)

The Gator News and World Report for Sunday, March 14, 2005. Hot Gators claim first tourney title; Gators win SEC tournament; Tournament MVP honors go to Walsh; Florida earns WNIT berth; Gators throttle Spartans; UF's net gain: First title; About Ohio U.; UF coach happy to approach the bench; 'New' UF hungry for more; Does Gators' win signal changing of SEC guard?; Gators' offense surfaces to slaughter Michigan State; For Gators trio, title victory becomes one defining moment and more....

Florida Gator Basketball

Hot Gators claim first tourney title
Anthony Roberson and Matt Walsh celebrated on the Georgia Dome floor, with tournament nets draped around their necks.

Gators win SEC tournament
Matt Walsh cut down the net, put the bundle of nylon around his neck and savored the significance of the moment.

Tournament MVP honors go to Walsh
Florida junior guard Matt Walsh has another trophy to add to his collection.

UF HAS ITS DAY
Donovan glad No.4-seeded team won't play until Friday

Gators step up to title
UF rises up to blow out Kentucky and take first SEC Tournament crown.

Syracuse Regional
1 NORTH CAROLINA Conference: Atlantic Coast. Record: 27-4. Good wins: Kentucky, at Connecticut, Duke.

Bad losses: Santa Clara. Players to watch: Sean May (16 ppg, 11 rpg), Rashad McCants (16 ppg). Ticket punched: At-large. Tourney tidbit: Freshman Marvin Williams (11 ppg, 5.5 rpg), is the team's best NBA prospect and is also quite a sixth man. March Madness Begins
Recognized more in the past few weeks for its former football coach's actions in court, the University of Washington stole back the headlines with its on-court performance.

Taking The Next Step
They celebrated all around the stepladder, which sat unnoticed Sunday between the dry erase board and guard Matt Walsh's stall in the University of Florida locker room.

UF's net gain: First title
He had barely fit the new championship hat to his head, and Florida center Chris Richard already wanted to know what was supposed to happen next.

About Ohio U.
The Bobcats won the Mid-American Conference Tournament to punch their ticket to the dance. Ohio, which was seeded fourth in the tourney, rallied from 19 points down in the second half to beat Buffalo in the tourney final. Ohio, which has won eight of its past nine, didn't beat anybody of note outside the MAC and lost by one at FIU.

It's SEC madness -- Gators win first title
Billy's bodacious boys penned yet another chapter in their hoops history book Sunday by burying the storied Kentucky Wildcats for the second time in eight days and winning a school-first Southeastern Conference Tournament title.

Cats 'punked'
Matt Walsh's 26 points -- 19 in the second half -- helped UF hand storied Kentucky its worst loss in an SEC title game. 'We knew we were a better team,' Anthony Roberson said.

Fourth-seeded UF opens vs. Ohio
Thanks to its first SEC title, UF snared a No. 4 seed, but the Gators were placed in the same regional as traditional powerhouses North Carolina, Connecticut and Kansas.

UF coach happy to approach the bench
This isn't the first time Taurean Green has won the SEC championship.

'New' UF hungry for more
There was a time this season when the Florida Gators weren't even the best, make that the second-best, team in the state.

One for the books
The net draped around Matt Walsh's neck had replaced the albatross the University of Florida had been carrying for so long.

Championship caps amazing eight days
On the court, the team was celebrating. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley headed for the locker room with a huge smile on his face

Gators put bite on UK again
For the first time in three years, the University of Kentucky players meandered off the court in a daze as a quaint celebration erupted around them.

UK, UC going to dance
Losing to Florida, 70-53, in the championship game of the Southeastern Conference tournament in the Georgia Dome on Sunday afternoon cost the University of Kentucky a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Florida climbing the ladder
Former Georgia basketball coach Hugh Durham used to describe the arenas where the SEC tournament was held as being covered by a "blue mist."

Loss cost Wildcats a No. 1 seeding
The last two times the University of Kentucky and Duke men's basketball teams met in the NCAA Tournament, a trip to the Final Four was on the line.

A hair-raising defeat
For all the fun University of Kentucky fans have had at Matt Walsh's expense, Walsh got the last laugh yesterday in the final of the Southeastern Conference men's basketball tournament.

UK has holes, and not much time to fix them
Josh Carrier knows what every University of Kentucky basketball fan has been doing from the second Florida finished thundering past the Wildcats 70-53 in the Southeastern Conference Tournament final yesterday to the moment they picked up this newspaper.

A sweet day for Gators
Florida's historic win Sunday here at the Georgia Dome got the Gators more than their first-ever Southeastern Conference tournament championship.

Does Gators' win signal changing of SEC guard?
As Florida cut down the nets yesterday, an orange-clad fan could be heard yelling, "There's a changing of the guard in the SEC."

SYRACUSE REGIONAL ANALYSIS
The "Are you kidding me?" regional. North Carolina is a solid top seed, but third-seeded Kansas could be a No. 2. Connecticut owns that line and deserves it. Fourth-seeded Florida, coming off the SEC tournament championship, also feels undervalued. Sitting at No. 5 is Villanova, one of the nation's hottest teams, which clubbed Kansas earlier this season.

Gators win first SEC Championship
Something didn't sit right with David Lee.

Shocking the SEC
How do you make history? Silence an ocean of fans that attended the self-described Blue Collar Cocktail Party.

Giddy gators dance early
From now on, when anyone lists the SEC basketball tournament champions, Florida will be among them.

For Gators trio, title victory becomes one defining moment
You thought you knew them. By now, you thought you had seen all you needed to see and suffered as much as you could bear to suffer, when it came to Florida's basketball stars.

Florida draws No. 4 seed for winning SEC
Florida's first SEC Tournament championship has translated into benefits in the Big Dance.

Florida Lady Gator Basketball

The Florida earns WNIT berth
Gators will travel to Tampa to face South Florida on Thursday.

USF Hosts Florida In Women's NIT
South Florida's women's basketball team received its second consecutive Women's National Invitation Tournament berth Sunday.

Bulls-Gators rivalry heads to bigger stage
The Women's NIT is all about rivalries, and this one shouldn't disappoint.

Florida Gator Baseball

Gators throttle Spartans
Florida wins big again, 10-0, to outscore Michigan State 40-3 in the three-game series.

Florida dominates Michigan State again to sweep series
Gavin Dickey had three hits, including a home run, and Stephen Locke combined with three relievers for the shutout as Florida finished a sweep of Michigan State with a 10-0 win on Sunday afternoon in Gainesville.

Gators' offense surfaces to slaughter Michigan State
The Michigan State baseball team hopes it will be another 40 years before it plays UF again.

Florida Gator Football

Meyers hit Gainesville running
here was a point in the middle of one of the past three chaotic months when Shelley Meyer thought she might not make it.

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