The Florida Gators reached their second straight Elite 8 on Thursday, beating Marquette. Our Florida blog Alligator Army is pretty impressed with their run so far, and don't see it ending on Saturday.
Florida's playing very, very well, but it's not playing the brand of basketball we had grown accustomed to seeing the Gators play. These Gators gnash their teeth and run, scrap for rebounds, play defense like they value almost every possession, and have cut down on the lapses and silly errors and bad shots — and few of their good shots are even falling. There's significant room above the current water level here, and, after feeling like Florida had tapped its potential, I have seen the Gators play much better — but I still think Florida hasn't put it all together, and still believe the Gators are legitimate national championship contenders as is.
The Gators made it this far last year, and the seniors on the team might still have a bad taste in their mouth from that experience. But they'll have to face a tough Louisville squad on Saturday to make the Final Four, and that will be a difficult test.
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