South - No. 1 Florida vs. No. 16 Play-In
Posted Mar 16, 2014

2014 NCAA Tournament Preview, Breakdown & Pick: South Region – No. 1 Florida vs. No. 16 Albany or Mount St. Mary's

Florida Gators
Head coach: Billy Donovan Record: 32-2 Conference: SEC

What You Need To Know: The nation's top team survived a brutal SEC tournament, but now they're battle tested. The Gators built their success around defense and wearing teams down with their length and athleticism, thanks to a group of players who completely bought into Billy Donovan's system. They're playing with a chip on their shoulder despite all the success they've enjoyed this season. This is an ego-free ballclub on the court, and Florida can hurt teams in a variety of ways. Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II are both quality scorers in the paint, and Prather is a man among boys with his strength and quickness inside. Frazier can knock down the open three-pointer, and he helps stretch the floor. Scottie Wilbekin can take over games with his command and presence to go along with his solid defensive play. Patric Young and Dorian Finney-Smith are both helpful on the glass and are fantastic in transition. All the pieces are there for Florida to make a deep run.
Strengths: Scoring Defense, Turnover Margin, Rebounding
Weaknesses: Free Throw Shooting, Blocked Shots, Scoring
How Far Will They Go?: It's all about Joel Embiid's back. If the Kansas star is limited or out, Florida will get through a relatively soft bracket – but watch out for Pitt – to get to Dallas. However, defense and grit won't be enough to get Billy Donovan his third national title.