Gator News and World Report (4/7/2006)

The Gator News and World Report for Friday, April 7, 2006. Celebration tonight at O'Connell Center; Enormity Of The Moment Doesn't Sink In For UF's Noah; Cheers, and chomps, for champs; If you thought title was something big, just stick around; Gators rock the House; Gators to face reigning RBI, strikeout leaders and more....

Florida Gator

Celebration tonight at O'Connell Center
Florida will celebrate its first national championship in men's basketball at 7 tonight in the O'Connell Center.

Enormity Of The Moment Doesn't Sink In For UF's Noah
That wasn't Old Glory flying. It was Joakim Noah's shirt tail. Yes, America loved him on the basketball court, and he became the celebrated face - well, hair - of the nation's best collegiate basketball team. But when Florida's favorite Gator joined his teammates and student-athletes from 13 other NCAA championship teams to celebrate their achievements

Forever, the memory of the national championship ending will endure, as clear as Joakim Noah's body language.

The difference, they say, is a fix that can never be fulfilled, a thirst that can't be quenched. It's what makes Florida Coach Billy Donovan a relentless recruiter and tireless worker, the tandem that has helped him build the base of a Hall of Fame career. It's what dominates his life, drives him as a father and husband and turns him into a terror on the paintball course.

If you thought title was something big, just stick around
Finally, after all the years, all the tears, all the crying-in-your-beers, a team from this football-fanatical state has won a basketball national championship.

Cheers, and chomps, for champs
Coach Billy Donovan and the Gators joined fellow NCAA champions who were celebrated by President Bush and others at the White House.

Basketball champ Gators visit White House
The newly crowned Florida Gator national championship men's basketball team, dressed closer to South Florida casual than black-tie formal, was honored Thursday during the latest re-enactment of what has become an oft-repeated White House ritual.

Final Four a poor end to season
This year's national college basketball championship in Indianapolis, while a wonderful celebration for basketball at Florida under Billy Donovan, was without question the least competitive Final Four in the modern era.

A Tournament Remembered
The Final Four: Gator domination. While the crowning event of the college basketball season does not match the overall excitement displayed throughout the tournament, it leaves no doubt which team is the best.

Gators rock the House
After returning to Gainesville on Tuesday to be greeted by 7,000 screaming fans, the Gators spent Thursday not in the practice gymnasium or catching up on homework but as President Bush's guests in Washington, D.C.

Florida Gator Baseball

Florida baseball
Who: Florida (19-14, 3-6 SEC) at Kentucky (23-7, 5-4) When: Tonight, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. Where: Lexington, Ken.

Gator record doesn't fool UK coach
As an assistant coach at Florida, John Cohen helped recruit several players for the perennial Southeastern Conference contender. Now as Kentucky's baseball coach he can put into context the pedestrian record the Gators bring to a series at UK this weekend

Gators to face reigning RBI, strikeout leaders
When a team's opponent features the reigning NCAA RBI and strikeout champions on its roster, it may have a problem.

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