Year in Review: #2

We've finally reached our top two news stories of the year. No big surprises here after the Florida Gators captured National Championships in the two biggest collegiate sports.

Let's review our countdown so far:

  • #10 Matt LaPorta sets career home run mark
  • #9 The '04s Declare for the NBA Draft
  • #8 Chris Leak sets all-time passing mark
  • #7 Gator Baseball Posts sub-.500 Season
  • #6 Jarvis Moss' Blocked FG Saves Gator Season, Beats Spurrier
  • #5 Gymnastics Wins SEC and Finishes Third Nationally
  • #4 Football's SEC Championship Drought Ends
  • #3 Is he Stayin' or Goin'?


    #2 Gator Boys go Back-to-Back

    Even a mid-season slump that saw the Gators lose three of four didn't bring much doubt to whether they would become the first time since Duke in the early-90's to repeat as college basketball's best.

    After the skid ended with a 10-point loss to Tennessee in Knoxville, the Gators didn't lose again. They coasted through the SEC Tournament, beating Georgia, Ole Miss and Arkansas by an average margin of more than 19 points.

    Their dominance in the conference tournament and defending national champion title earned them the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The first and second round games took them to New Orleans where they rolled past Jackson State, 112-69, and were able to hold off a pesky Purdue team, 77-56.

    Florida then advanced to the Midwest Regionals in St. Louis, Mo. where they faced fifth-seeded Butler. Florida used a 17-2 run to end the first half to get past Butler, 65-57. Next up was the No. 3 seed Oregon who knocked off a UNLV team coached by former Gator head coach Lon Kruger in the other regional semifinal. Behind a 23 point performance by Lee Humphrey, the Gators secured a second straight trip to the Final Four and the third trip in school history with an 85-77 win over the Ducks.

    In the Final Four, UF faced two familiar foes. In the national semifinal, the Gators met up with UCLA who they defeated in the 2006 national title game. After jumping out to an 18-point second half lead, the Gators easily got past the Bruins, 76-66. Ohio State knocked off Georgetown in the other semifinal, creating a rematch between the Gators and Buckeyes. Florida crushed Ohio State during the regular season in December at the O'Connell Center, and of course the football team knocked off the Buckeyes en route to the BCS Football National Championship.

    At the 12:16 mark of the first half, the Gators took a one-point lead and never relinquished the lead. Florida held off the nation's top player, Greg Oden, and won their second straight title with a nine-point win over the Buckeyes.

    The Gators became the seventh team in NCAA history to repeat. Duke, UCLA, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Oklahoma State and Kentucky also repeated as tournament champs.


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