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NCAA Game Summary - UCLA vs. Florida



(Thursday, March 27th)

Final Score: Florida 79, UCLA 68

Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Another Florida-UCLA meeting in the NCAA Tournament went the way of the Gators.

Michael Frazier II made five 3-pointers and scored a team-high 19 points and top-seeded Florida ousted the Bruins for the fourth time in the last nine seasons with a tense 79-68 victory in a familiar Sweet 16 showdown.

Florida has now reached the Elite Eight four straight years, and while the previous three all ended in defeats, the Gators get another shot at a Final Four appearance on Saturday against upstart Dayton. The 11th-seeded Flyers beat Stanford, 82-72, in Thursday's other South Region matchup at FedEx Forum.

"They're a great team. Everybody is at this point in the season, and so we got to be locked in and ready because it's going to be a battle," Gators senior guard Scottie Wilbekin said.

The nightcap was a tight affair despite what the final score may indicate and the fact that Gators (35-2) never trailed in the second half.

UCLA (28-9) was within one with 10 minutes to go before SEC Player of the Year Wilbekin stepped up and scored eight of his 13 points in the final six-plus minutes to help Florida pull away for its 29th consecutive win.

"That's what you expect out of your senior point guard. He's been here in the Sweet 16 four years. He made big shots," UCLA's Kyle Anderson said of Wilbekin.

Casey Prather added 12 points and Dorian Finney-Smith netted 10 in the win.

Jordan Adams led the fourth-seeded Bruins with 17 points, while Travis Wear had 14 for the Pac-12 Tournament champions, who also lost to Florida in the 2006 title game, the 2007 Final Four and the 2011 round-of-32.

A Chris Walker layup prior to the first official stoppage of the second half stretched Florida's lead to 50-39, forcing first-year Bruins head coach Steve Alford to call a timeout and settle down his troops.

The strategy worked, as UCLA scored the next seven points out of the break and pulled within 56-55 on Norman Powell's take to the hole at the midway point.

The Bruins, though, suddenly went cold, missing seven consecutive shots during the Gators' game-deciding 10-0 run that Wilbekin capped with six quick points.

First, the UCLA defense backed off Wilbekin along the right wing. The streaky guard, who was 1-for-7 from the perimeter at the time, settled his feet and drained a dagger 3-pointer, then drove to his right, split two defenders and got a tough runner to fall while being fouled.

The three-point play gave Florida a 66-55 cushion with 5:34 remaining, and after the Bruins cut the deficit to five down the stretch, Wilbekin kept them at bay with a jaw-dropping, off-balanced fallaway from the baseline.

Wear and Adams missed 3-point tries on UCLA's next two possessions to end any chance at a comeback.

The Gators stuck to their usual script of slowly coming out of the gates before finding their rhythm.

They missed their first four shots and were trailing 14-11 early on before a flurry of 3-pointers gave them a lead they never relinquished. Wilbekin began the surge with a deep make and Frazier kicked in a pair the next two times down to give Florida a 20-16 cushion with 11 1/2 minutes left in the half.

The margin reached nine, 28-19, before UCLA made it a one-possession game again with seven consecutive points, the last three coming when Zach LaVine scored over Patric Young while being fouled.

The Bruins, though, made just one field goal over the final six minutes, and Walker closed the opening half scoring with a putback off his own missed free throw for a 36-30 Florida lead.

Game Notes

Florida defeated Albany and Pittsburgh to reach the Sweet 16, while UCLA got past a pair of double-digit seeds in Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin ... Florida made half of its shots (29-of-58) ... Kasey Hill recorded 10 of the Gators' 22 assists ... Florida owned a 40-30 rebounding advantage ... UCLA shot just 3- of-18 from 3-point range.

03/28 01:53:28 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
3rd
CLE 77
MEM 70
 
1st
MIA 7
BOS 2
 
1st
BRK 7
DET 1
 
1st
SAC 7
LAL 7
 
1st
ORL 5
PHI 3
 
1st
WAS 8
PHO 4
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
 
2nd
NICST 56
TROY 57
 
2nd
BRAD 47
UCI 51
 
1st
UGA 14
SHU 4
 
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
1st
DET 0
COL 0
 
1st
EDM 1
DAL 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
3rd
STL 13
NYG 27
 
3rd
OAK 13
BUF 10
 
3rd
DAL 28
IND 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA