Florida's run ended in the Elite 8 in each of the past two seasons, but it has a good chance to get past that point this season in the very winnable South Region. The Gators got off to a good start in the second round on Saturday, closing the game on a 39-11 run en route to a 79-47 victory over Northwestern State.
The Gators struggled with the Demons for a half and only held a four-point lead a minute into the second half. However, Florida began imposing its will at that point, and eventually reeled off a 16-0 run that turned a 10-point advantage into a laugher. Erik Murphy scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Gators while Patric Young added 16 points and nine boards.
Minnesota was a popular upset pick heading into its second-round meeting with No. 6 UCLA, and the Gophers came through with an 83-63 thrashing of the Bruins. Andre Hollins scored 28 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Gophers, who jumped out to a 14-point first-half lead. UCLA cut its deficit to five points five minutes into the second half, but Hollins drained a pair of threes in a 30-second span to put Minnesota back up by 11, and the Gophers never looked back.
The winner between the Gators and Gophers will move on to the South Region semifinals, which will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Game time, TV: 6:10 p.m. ET, TNT/March Madness Live
Location: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas