5’8" guard Erving Walker was absolutely huge for the Florida Gators today, as they moved on to the Sweet Sixteen after beating UCLA 73-65. Walker had 21 points including a couple of huge shots late in the game to propel Billy Donovan’s Gators, who were one of the teams people were really sleeping on in this tournament.
Though the Big East is not known as a basketball powerhouse, they have put the first two teams into the Sweet Sixteen so far, and Florida and Kentucky were two of the teams I thought could surprise some people.
Through three rounds, they have done just that. Guard Kenny Boynton added 12 points for the Gators, and center Vernon Macklin had 10 points. Forward Alex Tyus had 8 points and 13 rebounds and was instrumental for the Gators defensively.
The “X-Factor” for the Gators though is forward Chandler Parsons, who can really do it all. The 6’10" forward only had seven points, but he added five rebounds, five assists, and a block.
UCLA had five players in double figures on the day, and leading the way was forward Reeves Nelson, who had 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Bruins really struggled from three point range, hitting only three of their 13 attempts.
Florida will face the winner of BYU and Gonzaga in the next round.