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At A Glance

* How they got there: Beat Butler, 69-68, in the first round of the East Regional in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Illinois, 93-76, in the second round; Duke, 87-78, in the regional semifinal in Syracuse, N.Y., and Oklahoma State, 77-65, in the region final.

* Leading tournament scorers: Mike Miller, 14.7 points a game; Udonis Haslem, 12.0; Brett Nelson, 11.0; Teddy Dupay, 9.8.

* Leading tournament rebounders: Miller 9.0, Donnell Harvey, 5.5; Haslem, 4.75; Brent Wright 3.5.

* Key to the season: After playing in the rugged Southeastern Conference, no one could have anticipated the Gators’ toughest opponent would be Butler. But the No. 12-seeded team proved to be the biggest hurdle the Gators would face in the tournament. Florida escaped, 69-68, on a last-second shot in overtime and hasn’t had to sweat as much since. The Gators breezed past Illinois, ran away from Duke at the end and controlled Oklahoma State for most of the game. Florida’s depth always comes into play. The Gators have faced superior individual players in Duke’s Shane Battier and Oklahoma State’s Desmond Mason, but prevailed each time.

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* Key fact: When the Gators win, they tend to win big. Florida was fifth in the nation in scoring margin during the regular season, beating opponents by an average of 16.2 points. But that doesn’t mean they get tight if the score is close. The Gators are 5-3 in games decided by five points or less.

LOG

FLORIDA (28-7)

96 Florida State 61

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60 Utah State-x 58

68 at Purdue-x 79

72 Georgetown-x 62

131 New Hampshire 72

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96 Florida A&M; 44

93 Bethune-Cookman 77

109 High Point 60

85 at Rutgers 65

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80 N.C.-Wilmington 53

113 VMI 68

82 South Alabama 61

77 at Vanderbilt 87

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75 at Mississippi 71

82 Louisiana State 57

79 Tennessee, 2OT 81

77 at Alabama 73

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69 at DePaul 71

89 Vanderbilt 63

86 at South Carolina 82

85 Georgia 66

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90 Kentucky 73

73 at Tennessee, OT 76

80 at Arkansas 71

88 Mississippi State 58

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90 at Georgia 68

88 Auburn 59

87 South Carolina 67

70 at Kentucky 85

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89 Mississippi-y 67

70 at Auburn-y 78

69 Butler, OT-z 68

93 at Illinois-z 76

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87 at Duke-z 78

77 at Oklahoma State-z 65

x-Maui Invitational; y-Southeastern Conference; z-NCAA


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