Florida - Ohio State Preview
Florida Gators (1) Vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (1)
Monday, 4/2 at 9:21
Betting Line From Bookmaker: Florida -5
The Florida State Gators are back in the NCAA finals, beating the UCLA Bruins in their Final Four match-up by a score of 76- 66. They will go up against a very tough Ohio State Buckeye team on Monday.
The Gators beat the Bruins from the field, shooting 53% to UCLA’s 39% and from three-point land, hitting 40% to their opponent’s 22%. Although UCLA shot a higher percentage from the free throw line—85% to 61%, the Gators had 31 free throws to the Bruins’ 13 attempts. Florida scored 19 free throw points—8 more than UCLA.
Inside, junior forward Corey Brewer hit for 19 points, including going 4 for 5 from the three-point mark. The boards were controlled by junior swingmen Al Horford and Joakim Noah, who had 17 and 11 rebounds respectively. Horford scored 9 points and Noah hit for 8. Senior guard Lee Humphrey scored 14 points, with 12 of those coming from downtown. Junior guard Taurean Green put in 10 points while dishing off 3 assists.
The big guys blocked 6 shots, with Noah recording 4 stops. The Gators grabbed 46 rebounds to the Bruins’ 25. The primary concern for Florida in the game came in the form of turnovers. The Gators gave up the ball 16 times and had it stolen 6. That will be difficult to compensate for against the Buckeyes.
Senior swingman Chris Richard was the primary force for Florida off the bench. Richard had 16 points and was perfect from the field (7-7) and from the free throw line (2-2). He also handled 4 rebounds.
The Gators are playing good ball, shooting well from the field and controlling the boards. But concern comes with the club’s ball handling, which has been suspect through much of the tournament. Florida does not want to give Ohio State additional opportunities by turning the ball over. The Gators are especially dangerous from the three-point mark and if that goes cold, they can also score from inside.
Finally, Florida can’t afford foul trouble. They lack the reserve-depth that the Buckeye’s possess. Disciplined play will be essential.Get Maddux's expert opinion on this game, signup for our premium basketball picks and cash in big on the final four!
The Ohio State Buckeyes managed to handle the Georgetown Hoyas in their Final Four meeting, beating them 67 to 60 and covering the college basketball point spread. The last time Ohio State made it to the finals for the NCAA basketball title it was 1962 and John F. Kennedy was president, the Internet was more than thirty years away and Kareem Abdul Jabar was known as Lou Alcindor and would not become a star on the basketball court for UCLA for another three years!
Ohio State will now take on the reigning champs—the Florida Gators our preseason college basketball pick to win it all. In doing so, they didn’t beat the Hoyas from the field or from downtown. They did it by being more disciplined—committing 10 fouls to Georgetown’s 15 and sending the Hoyas to the foul line only 8 times, while the Buckeyes shot 19 frees. Ohio State accumulated 13 points at the charity stripe to G-town’s 3.
Although Ohio State’s star freshman center Greg Oden got into foul trouble early, the Buckeyes proved that they have enough depth and go-to guys to adjust. Guard Mike Conley, also a frosh, stepped up. Conley led the Buckeye charge with 15 points and 6 assists. He also grabbed 5 rebounds. Senior guard Ron Lewis put in 9 points, going 7 of 8 from the free throw line. Junior guard Jamar Butler dished off 4 assists while putting in 10 points, including 2 three-pointers.
Oden pulled down 9 rebounds while scoring 13 points. Senior forward Ivan Harris was good for 7 rebounds and 9 points. The Buckeyes bench came through, putting in 11 points and handling 10 rebounds.
On defense, Ohio State had 8 steals to the Hoyas 3. State turned the ball over only 8 times, while Georgetown gave it up 14. OS beat GT on rebounds 36 to 29 and on the offensive boards 16 to 9.
Going up against Florida, Ohio State will need to continue to play disciplined ball and use their big guys against the Gators’ inside bangers. Although these guys lack the experience that the reigning champs possess, they have some determined seniors and leadership both upfront and in the backcourt.