Humphrey's biggest basket came with less than six minutes to go. George Mason had narrowed a 19 point deficit (51-32) to eleven and had just made their first three-pointer after missing eight straight. Enter the lad from Maryville to nail his sixth of the night and the Gators coasted home.
It Wasn't All About Joakim
The star of the Gators NCAA tournament run has obviously been Joakim Noah whose spectacular play, averaging a double-double with nearly five blocked shots a night made him a national celebrity. But on this night, Noah took a back seat not only to Humphrey, but to Corey Brewer who matched Humphrey's 19 for game high honors and added six rebounds. Yes, "Spiderman" had a couple of bizarre turnovers that make Gator fans scream out "COREY?!?!?!" but he also forced turnovers and harassed Patriots shooters on the perimeter.
Al Horford was a major force with 13 rebounds, especially when the Gators were turning their five point halftime edge to a comfortable advantage in the second half. Taurean Green has a solid floor general and played some excellent defense, too.
That's not to say Joakim did not do the job. Noah had 12 points and eight rebounds. I don't know the official total, but I had him for four blocked shots, and he altered about a half dozen others.
A hidden factor, I think was Florida's ability to run the Patriots' big men ragged. When the Gators got their transition think going during the 20-to-6 start of the second half, GMU's big guys were always a step or two late.
Ten Straight, One To Go
So the Gators dispatched with that Cindy Rella chick and now they get set for the second National Championship game in school history. It helps that the Gators did not have to burn up all of their energies and mental focus to reach the final. Florida, in essence coasted into the final game of the college basketball season.
It's now official: This is the greatest season in school history. It already is the winningest. It already had matched the second SEC Tournament Title. It already had reached UF's third Final Four. But now this team takes the top spot on the ladder.
As I write this, LSU/UCLA is yet to start, and I think the Gators have a better match up with UCLA rather than facing an LSU team at full strength for the first time. I suppose the best thing for Gator fans to root for is a multi-overtime game…. With a big fist fight resulting in multiple ejections towards the end.
I'm just kidding about the fight…. I think.