This was a great game.
Both teams played well.
But throw out the strategy. Throw out the little things, like turnovers, out of bounds calls, fouls, etc.
Because it all came down to one thing.
And that thing was Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton stepping it up in the end, with Walker finally landing the kiss me goodnight now have a nice flight home three.
Boynton’s heart to return after injuring his ankle didn’t directly affect the outcome of the game, but it did give his best buddy Walker some confidence to take over the game in the end.
Now, though, there are definitely some things that need to be cleaned up.
I was shocked when the Gators forgot what a rebound was during a 5 minute segment in between TV timeouts in the middle of the second half. I was disheartened, but not really surprised when I saw Tyler Honeycutt get wide open for a few big three balls to keep the Bruins in the game. He’s proven himself to make big threes this year, and UCLA is down 6 with between 2-4 minutes left, what else do you expect him to do? If Jimmer Fredette does that (assuming BYU wins) then we’re in big trouble.
We also got outbodied down low numerous times. Despite our big guys, Macklin, Young and Tyus playing well, we were still outmuscled. Some of that can be forgiven since the average big man size for UCLA is 273 pounds, but we need to at least challenge the layups.
Speaking of layups, had UCLA made a few that they missed, Florida would have lost.
But they didn’t, did they? No, Florida knocked the Bruins out of the NCAA tournament AGAIN. This is the third time in 6 years that UCLA’s season ended in a tournament loss to the Gators, the first two coming in the 06-07 championship game and semifinals, respectively.
I’ve been harping on one big thing this year: Florida needs a single player that can be the leader. I did not, however, state that only one player can be able to take over the game. No, I said the exact opposite.
And look what happened: Chandler Parsons was the leader on the floor (not talking stats, but more in a Tebow, let’s go kind of way) and Erving Walker took over.
And Florida is in the Sweet 16.
A footnote: Florida has never beaten UCLA in the tournament and NOT won it all.
(Shhhhh… don’t say that these teams have only played three times).
Anyway, it’s just good to know that history is on our side.
It’s almost as good as having a 5-8 kid from Brooklyn named Erving Walker on our side.