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The Florida Gators beat the BYU Cougars 83-74 in an overtime Sweet 16 thriller, moving on to draw either Butler or Wisconsin in the Elite Eight. We’ll find out tonight who Florida will play next, as that game is starting up any minute now.
Alex Tyus takes home the game ball for Florida, scoring 19 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Jimmer Fredette put up a ton of points, 32 to be exact, but did not have his best game. He started cold, took a ton of shots, and turned the ball over a few times in the second half after suffering a couple of dings. Still, he left the court as one of the best college hoops players ever.
Florida’s run through the Southeast region had been largely drama-free until tonight, with wins over UCLA and UC-Santa Barbara that lacked this one’s intensity. Which, duh.
Updated 2011 NCAA Tournament Southeast and Southwest region brackets:
Florida Gators vs. Wisconsin/Butler winner
VCU/Florida State winner vs. Kansas/Richmond winner
Jimmer Fredette threw away a pass after trying to pump fake his man into a fouling situation, allowing Florida to burn nearly an entire shot clock worth of time before Alex Tyus jammed home a wide-open dunk to make it 79-72. Tyus has 19 points and has only missed one shot tonight, adding 17 rebounds and a block of Fredette.
Erving Walker then hit one of two free throws to make it an eight-point game before Fredette bobbled away a ball that led to a tie-up, with BYU getting the ball thanks to the possession arrow. With 45 seconds left, Jackson Emery bricked a three, leading to an intentional foul of Chandler Parsons. He hit the first, Fredette left the game, and Parsons bricked the second.
Having thrown in the towel, BYU still attempted to foul Erving Walker, which is not the easiest thing in the world if Walker does not want to be fouled. The game ended with a 83-74 Florida victory.
So much for BYU having the momentum going into OT. On his first effort in overtime, Jimmer Fredette missed a three, then got called for traveling on his second. The Florida Gators did start out hot, with Alex Tyus and Kenny Boynton both hitting layups to give Florida an early 72-68 lead. The refs made up for that call against Fredette with a highly questionable over-the-back foul on Tyus shortly after.
Boynton drilled a three on a great pass from Vernon Macklin to extend the edge to 75-70 Florida after Charles Abouo hit free throws for Tyus’ foul. Erving Walker missed a free throw but made the other, and then Kyle Collinsworth struck with a layup to make it 76-72.
Chandler Parsons followed with another three, making it 79-72 with two minutes to go. BYU called a time out after Fredette nearly lost control of the ball.
With 35 seconds left and the score tied 68-68, Florida called a timeout, setting up an Erving Walker drive with a kick to Kenny Boynton, who missed a three. Walker came down with the rebound, Gus Johnson went Guscon 1, and Billy Donovan called another time out with 15 seconds left. Some sloppiness occurred, Chandler Parsons missed a weird layup that looked like the kind of thing Jimmer Fredette and Erving Walker do on every other play, and to overtime we go.
Fredette pumped his fist as time ran out, the arena in New Orleans rang out with “BYU!” chants, and the Cougars seem to have the momentum. They did have to close the gap in the closing minutes of regulation just to force the extra frame, and were able to withstand two Gators possessions to survive the last half-minute.
There have been nine ties and eight lead changes in this game. Permanent Gus Johnson alert from here on out.
Jimmer Fredette’s nagging injury has been called a calf by CBS — it hasn’t kept him off the floor, but he does look tired. He also now has a pair of bandages on his chin, which he hurt while sprawling after giving up a steal late in the second half. He’s up to 28 points after a very slow start, hitting a sweet finger roll over a leaping Florida defender on a one-man break and then peeling off a three-pointer from Jimmer depth — Gus Johnson referred to it as a shot from Provo.
He’s got his holy warrior face on, I guess you’d call it, tromping around the court with stern eyes after every big shot. Florida still leads 65-63 with under four minutes left.
Four Gators are in double figures: Erving Walker, Chandler Parsons, Kenny Boynton, and Alex Tyus. Tyus also has 11 boards, the same as Kyle Collinsworth.
Everything is going totally off the rails here in New Orleans. Florida’s Alex Tyus drew a dunk and-one after being blocked by BYU’s Noah Hartsock, with the foul sending Logan Magnusson to the bench with four. That was probably the sanest play to occur in the past few minutes, with trap going Cajun ham, and I don’t even have time to Google what Cajun ham may or may not be.
Florida leads 61-55 with just over seven minutes left.
Jimmer Fredette hit the floor on a swipe by Florida, winding up with a face plant that had him rubbing his chin to check for blood. There didn’t appear to be any, but he’s clearly feeling the startling physicality of this Sweet 16 brawl. I don’t even remember everything that happened after that — everybody was sprinting up and down the court, with novelty-sized maniac Erving Walker becoming the spirit animal of the entire evening.
Jackson Emery received a technical foul for protesting a Jimmer Fredette offensive foul, with Erving Walker knocking down both of the free throws and Kenny Boynton missing the subsequent three. He joins teammate Logan Magnusson as the only players in the game with three fouls. Having to sit him would be a bad look for BYU, as the threat posed by his early hot shooting helped Fredette arrive.
Florida leads 53-50 with about 11 minutes left to go in New Orleans.
Boynton has 11 points, eight of those in the second half, and has held Fredette to a seven-of-18 shooting night. Chandler Parsons has 10 points and seven rebounds, and Noah Hartsock has seven points and six boards.
Florida and BYU began the second half of their Sweet 16 matchup tied at 36, with Jimmer Fredette visibly limping. CBS’ broadcast crew reported he was without any significant injury, but it will be worth monitoring how his legs hold up throughout the rest of the game, especially while taking so many shots and defending Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton.
Florida has taken a 46-44 lead about five minutes in.
Both teams have forgot how to shoot, with Walker missing a layup, Charles Abuou missing from close, and general clangin’ amuck. But Fredette finally hit a three, with the ball clunking around the rim for a minute and still earning a Gus Johnson “OH!”
Fredette is up to a game-high 18 points, with Walker close behind at 14. Kyle Collinsworth and Alex Tyus continue their great rebounding duel, with both pulling down eight boards.
BYU and Florida are tied 36-36 at the half of their Sweet 16 face-off, with Gus Johnson starting to warm up. Chandler Parsons has eight points after hitting a three to give the Gators a brief lead before Jimmer Fredette hit consecutive layups, one of them a ridiculous no-look scoop in traffic. BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth had a chance to give the Cougars a halftime lead, but missed the first half of a one-and-one.
Parsons trails Erving Walker’s 14, Fredette’s 10, and Jackson Emery’s nine. Walker and Emery have each hit a trio of three-pointers. Florida’s Alex Tyus and Collinsworth have battled to six rebounds apiece, with the Cougars taken an edge on the glass after giving up plenty of boards early.
Emery, Florida’s Patric Young, and BYU’s Logan Magnusson are the only players with multiple fouls, with only two each.
BYU now holds a 32-30 advantage against Florida with just under three minutes left in the first half. The Gators, who were shooting over 80 percent early on, have fallen to 50 percent overall, while BYU has come back to tie the rebounding total and has half as many turnovers as Florida, 10 to five.
Jimmer Fredette is trying to draw fouls, but Florida’s doing a good job of staying planted during his pump fakes. It’s led to several moments tonight in which Fredette tries to initiate a foul, but just ends up bumping against a steadfast Gators defender before uncorking a wild shot that, yeah, would usually go in.
With three minutes to go, Fredette had yet to shoot a free throw and has still hit only one shot. He added a gallop around the entire half court that concluded with a lefty layup to double his point total. He now has six.
Jimmer Fredette has made himself useful for BYU against Florida, drawing lots of attention despite seeing his shots find more iron than twine. At one point early on a Fredette brick set up a nice Kyle Collinsworth tip, so something’s working. Fredette missed his first six shots of the night before finally making a runner without about six minutes to go.
BYU is starting to come back, now down only 25-21. More of their shots have started falling, and Florida’s early scorching streak has cooled down. The Gators led by as many as 10 points early on.
Florida needs to do a better job of hanging on to the pill, as they’ve turned the ball over seven times already. One thing nobody wants to do is give Fredette more opportunities to get going. This entire update has been all about a player with two points. These things happen.
BYU Cougars star Jimmer Fredette has yet to adjust to SEC speed, having his second shot of the night blocked — this time by the injured Kenny Boynton. Jackson Emery has picked up the slack, drilling three three-pointers already. For the Florida Gators, tiny Erving Walker is showing his chaotic range of talents, scoring eight and nearly flinging a back court violation.
The Gators jumped out to an early rebounding advantage, leading 14 to eight. At one point a series of offensive rebounds gave Florida at least a minute of offense, which will look great on the postgame time of possession line in the box score.
The arena looks emptier than some would expect for a Sweet 16 contest, but let’s keep in mind this game is being played in New Orleans. Not too many BYU fans are known to take trips to Louisiana, and Florida fans … do I need to explain to you why SEC fans did not gobble up plane tickets to watch basketball?
Florida Gators guard Kenny Boynton is on the floor for the Florida Gators against the BYU Cougars in tonight's Sweet 16 matchup despite a recent ankle injury. Florida has raced out to a 12-8 lead, with both Alex Tyus and Erving Walker hitting early threes.
The highlight of the opening minutes, however, was Vernon Macklin's block of a driving Jimmer Fredette. That's right, Jimmer Nation -- even the chosen one can be stuffed. It was Boynton's nimble defense that drove Fredette into Macklin, so it's safe to say the ankle feels sufficient.
Jackson Emery leads BYU with six points.
No. 3 BYU Vs. No. 2 Florida will be a matchup of contrasts in the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket. BYU's Jimmer Fredette will have to come up big to counter Florida's balanced attack, led by Chandler Parsons, Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton and Vernon Macklin. The two teams will do battle at 7:27 p.m. on TBS, according to the 2011 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 schedule, with the great Gus Johnson and Len Elmore on the call.
We know that BYU is all about Fredette. Many felt the Cougars were vulnerable after losing big man Brandon Davies to a suspension, but Fredette has stepped up his game even more in the Cougars' two NCAA Tournament wins thus far. Fredette dropped 32 points and seven assists in BYU's 74-66 second-round win over No. 14 Wofford, then topped that with 34 points and six assists in a 89-67 third-round win over No. 11 seed Gonzaga. Slowing Fredette is obviously the priority for Florida, but he's demonstrated he can get the ball to his teammates when he needs to do so. That makes BYU a particularly tough team to cover.
But if there's a team that can do that, it's Florida. The Gators are well-balanced, with four players averaging in double figures. They can fill it up offensively, mostly because you can't gameplan to stop one guy. If you shut down Parsons, then you run the risk of Walker and Boynton beating you from the perimeter and Macklin dominating inside. The Gators also have a number of options with defending Fredette. They could put Parsons on him, to try to have a bigger defender, or they could run Boynton instead. Either way, it'll be a much tougher matchup than anything Fredette has faced thus far. The Gators got here by coasting by No. 15 UC-Santa Barbara, 79-51, then holding off No. 7 UCLA, 73-65.
Star Watch: Fredette, of course, is the man to watch for BYU. For Florida, Parsons has to come up big on both ends to get the Gators to the next round.
Prediction: Team Florida proves to be too much for Team Fredette. The combination of Parsons and Boynton limits Fredette's output as much as possible, and the Gators win, 71-62.
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