NEW YORK (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The lone Florida team left in the NCAA Tournament is one that has had some successful runs in the past.READ MORE: COVID In Florida: 1,613 New Cases, 35 Deaths Reported On Monday
Florida and Wisconsin are two of the most impressive teams in the NCAA Tournament, and one is about to move a step closer to another Final Four trip.
The fourth-seeded Gators and eighth-seeded Badgers square off Friday in New York City in an intriguing Sweet 16 matchup in the East Region.
Florida, of course, won back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007 and returned to the Final Four in 2014, while Wisconsin is aiming for its third Final Four berth in the last four seasons.
The Badgers became the only team in the nation to advance to four straight Sweet 16s when they upset No. 1 overall seed Villanova in the Round of 32 last weekend thanks to continued terrific play from Bronson Koenig.
“We talked about the legacy we want to leave,” the senior guard said this week. “Getting to the Final Four is one of the goals we talked about since the end of last season.”
The Gators held Virginia to 39 points in the second round and hope to get another strong performance out of Devin Robinson as they aim to derail the Badgers.
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ABOUT WISCONSIN (27-9): The Badgers have two key seniors with multiple Final Four experience in Koenig, who has drained 11 3-pointers en route to 45 points through two games of this event, and Nigel Hayes, who is averaging 17.5 points and nine boards through two NCAA contests.
Ethan Happ, who notched at least 10 points and eight rebounds in five straight games, is another cause for concern for the Gators.
On the downside for Wisconsin, its bench shot a collective 5-of-16 in the Big Dance and the reserves totaled three points against Villanova.
ABOUT FLORIDA (26-8): The Gators are 8-1 all-time in the Sweet 16 and have an excellent shot at improving that mark if Robinson continues to shine.
The junior forward had 14 points and 11 rebounds against Virginia and is averaging 19 points – way up from his season average of 11.4 – through the first two games of the tournament.
On the other hand, Florida’s leading scorer on the season is KeVaughn Allen, a normally sweet-shooting sophomore who is 1-of-13 from 3-point range and 3-of-21 overall in the tournament, totaling 11 points in the Gators’ two victories.
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- The Badgers allow 61.8 points – 11th-best in the nation – while the Gators provide a contrast in styles with a scoring average of 77.9 points per game.
- Florida G Canyon Barry, the team’s second-leading scorer on the season (11.8), is 2-of-11 from the field for 14 total points over his last three outings.
- The winner plays No. 3 seed Baylor or seventh-seeded South Carolina in the Elite Eight on Sunday.
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