I picked UCLA to win last night.
OK, now that I've admitted that, I'm not going to spend much time rehashing the total domination by the Florida Gators. If I can't add something different to the stories that are out there, I just keep it short and sweet--kind of like UCLA's hopes last night. Florida ruled the game in every phase from wire to wire. There was never any doubt who was the better team and who was going to win the game.
Florida has enjoyed a tremendous season. They won 17 straight to start the campaign, had some hiccups during the middle portion of the SEC slate, then thundered home by winning 11 in a row en route to the SEC and NCAA Tournament titles. In 5 months, Joakim Noah has went from reserve forward on an underachieving team to a possible NBA lottery pick. In 5 months, Billy Donovan has went from a coach that "can't win in the tournament" to an NCAA Champion. In 5 months, Florida went from unranked to an undisputed #1 ranking.
The Gators won the game by getting the ball deep into the post and forcing UCLA to try and stop their big men. It simply did not happen. Noah, Horford, Richard, and Moss all found ways to score and rebound. G/F Corey Brewer did a defensive number on UCLA G Aaron Afflalo by shutting him out until the game was out of reach. UF executed almost flawlessly on both ends of the court all night long and UCLA is still looking for answers this morning. Make no mistake, the Bruins are a fine team and deserved to be there, but this Florida club is simply on another level. The are like UConn, only with more cohesion and more focus.
Congratulations to the Gators. Read more from CBS, Gene Woj, Pat Forde, and Ken Pomeroy.
A few post-season essays will be forthcoming in the next few days before I wrap The Bracket Board in newspaper and stick it in the attic until October 15.