FINAL: SOUTH CAROLINA 77, FLORIDA 70
NEW YORK- The Florida Gators men’s basketball season has ended. Florida failed to overcome a poor second half and fell to South Carolina 77-70.
Florida actually dominated the first half of this game. At half, the Gators led 40-33 and were shooting 59% from the field. South Carolina had no answer as Florida made 7-12 from behind the three-point arc.
The second half was a whole different story though. Florida couldn’t make any shots (0-14 from three), and in most cases didn’t even attempt to go inside the paint. Too often, Florida’s possessions would use 25-30 seconds of the shot clock without a single entry inside the three-point line. KeVaughn Allen, and Chris Chiozza settled several times for last second prayer heaves.
South Carolina’s second half defense was intimidating. The Gamecocks dared Florida to go inside, having switched to a 2-3 zone after the intermission, but the Gators never took the opportunity, choosing instead to launch shots that had little chance at going in.
The Gamecocks had obviously decided to use their size inside to dominate the game. South Carolina scored 48 points in the paint. SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell spent much of the second half knifing his way inside the paint where he either scored or was fouled.
Unfortunately, officiating was an issue. South Carolina seemed to get the benefit of the official’s calls. Florida was charged with just four fouls more than the Gamecocks, but South Carolina shot 31 free throws compared to Florida’s 14.
KEY PLAY: With 50 seconds left in a two point game, South Carolina inbounded the ball after Allen brought the Gators within two points. The pass was long and Duane Notice as the recipient. Notice took fifteen steps without dribbling the ball. Eventually, the officials called Chris Chiozza for a foul. A travel call in that scenario (and it was incredibly obvious) changes the entire momentum of the game. Instead, Notice made both free throws.
Look, Florida didn’t deserve to win. They played terribly in the second half. Amazingly this game was even close at that point. As horrible as the officiating was, Florida’s play didn’t warrant complaint.
South Carolina will move on to the Final Four in Phoenix for the first time in school history. The Gamecocks will face Gonzaga with a chance to play in the Championship game.
Florida fans will be left wondering, what if?
- CAROLINA: 26-10
- FLORIDA: 27-9
Florida says goodbye to four seniors on the roster; Kasey Hill, Justin Leon, Canyon Barry, and Schuyler Rimmer.
Florida will also await the decisions of junior Devin Robinson and sophomore KeVaughn Allen and their future as it pertains to the NBA Draft.