Gators top Dayton, into Final Four

Dayton was game, but Florida won their 30th straight to reach their 5th Final Four

The Florida Gators are first yet again this season.

Scottie Wilbekin scored 14 of his 23 points in the first half, and Florida became the first team to advance to the Final Four with a 62-52 win Saturday night over the 11th-seeded Dayton Flyers in the South Region final.

The Gators reached their fifth Final Four after losing at this point in each of the past three NCAA tournaments. This time, they came in as the country’s top-ranked team and the overall No. 1 seed.

Florida won its 30th straight game and improved to 36-2, topping the 35 wins by the 2007 national championship squad.

 

Wisconsin bashes Baylor, Arizona survives San Diego State

Badgers 69 Bears 52

Ben Brust and his Wisconsin teammates got oodles of open shots while they sliced and diced Baylor’s vaunted zone defense. When the Bears had the ball, 7-foot Frank Kaminsky always seemed to be right in their way.

Brust, Kaminsky and their Badgers realize they dominated Baylor in a 69-52 victory Thursday night because of a coach who always puts them in the right spots.

Bo Ryan has never been to college basketball’s final weekend, but the Badgers are thrilled to put him on the brink.

”That would be a very special thing to do, but we also know that he’s not going to let us look too far ahead,” said Brust, who scored 14 points. ”When that time comes, we’ll handle it. I’d definitely like to do that for him.”

Arizona 70 SDSU 64

Nick Johnson put an awful first half behind him and came up big for Arizona in the final 2:45.

The Pac-12 player of the year scored all of his 15 points over that span after missing his first 10 shots, and helped Arizona hold off San Diego State 70-64 on Thursday night to reach the final eight of the NCAA tournament.

“When I hit one shot it just started to feel a little bit better,” he said. “I just kept on hitting shots.”

Mostly, Johnson hit free throws, making all 10 of his attempts to go with a field goal and a 3-pointer after the Aztecs shut him down for the first 37 minutes.

Dayton not done dancing yet

The Flyers keep on flying, Gators up next

Like a red and blue blur, the Dayton Flyers were pressing and passing, shooting and scoring. The waves never seemed to stop coming, with 10, 11 and then 12 players giving them quality minutes.

An exhausted and foul-plagued Stanford simply couldn’t keep up.

The underdog Flyers — an 11 seed in this South Region — are now in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1984 after an emphatic 82-72 victory over Stanford on Thursday night.

“We had 11 guys score in the game and from top to bottom, we kept coming and coming,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said. “The way they shared the ball and moved the ball … it was a true team effort. It’s nice that on the biggest stage, we acted like ourselves.”