SEC ri­vals Fla., S. Carolina fa­mil­iar with each other

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Jim O’Con­nell

new york» There’s no need for in­tro­duc­tions in the East Re­gional fi­nal. Scout­ing re­ports aren’t re­ally nec­es­sary.

Fourth-seeded Florida and sev­enth-seeded South Carolina, two South­east­ern Con­fer­ence foes, will meet Sun­day at Madi­son Square Gar­den with the win­ner ad­vanc­ing to the Fi­nal Four.

This will be the third meet­ing be­tween the teams this sea­son with the home team win­ning both. They are two tough, de­fen­sive teams that can get out and run in tran­si­tion.

“They’re su­per phys­i­cal. They pres­sure a lot, deny a lot of passes. They’re all pretty fun­da­men­tally sound. They take a lot of charges and kind of swarm the ball when you drive,” Florida guard Canyon Barry said of the Game­cocks on Satur­day. “We have to guard them too. I think it could be a de­fen­sive bat­tle and who­ever can ex­e­cute bet­ter has a good shot of win­ning.”

The first game be­tween the teams was a slugfest with South Carolina pre­vail­ing 57-53. The Ga­tors missed all 17 of their 3-point at­tempts, and KeVaughn Allen, Florida’s first-team all-SEC guard, scored one point.

The Ga­tors won the re­match 81-66 with Allen scor­ing 26 points, and they held South Carolina to 39 per­cent shoot­ing.

Allen strug­gled in the first two NCAA Tour­na­ment games, scor­ing a to­tal of 11 points on 3-for-21 shoot­ing. He broke out with a ca­reer-high 35 points in the re­gional semi­fi­nal.

“I’m very con­fi­dent. Whether I miss shots, I still just got to keep shoot­ing it be­cause if I don’t, I kind of feel like I’m hurt­ing my team by not shoot­ing it,” Allen said. “The first two games, it didn’t go well for me how I wanted it to go as far as shoot­ing it. I think I found ways on de­fense to help my team and just try not to hurt them.”

This is South Carolina’s deep­est run in the NCAA Tour­na­ment while Florida has been in the Elite Eight six times since 2006, in­clud­ing back-to-back na­tional cham­pi­onships in 2006-07.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.