banner

College Basketball

more stats

45
Final 12Score
Pittsburgh222345
Florida273461
Preview | Lineup | Wrap | Box
61


Pittsburgh (26-9) vs. Florida (33-2)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 22, 12:15 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Amway Center (20,000) -- Orlando, Florida. Television: CBS. NCAA Record: Pittsburgh 24-25, Florida 36-14. Series Record: Pittsburgh leads, 4-2.

GAME NOTES: The NCAA Tournament's top overall seed will try to continue their trek through the South Region on Saturday when the Florida Gators take on the ninth-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers in the third round at the Amway Center.

Pittsburgh dominated its second round matchup with Colorado with a 77-48 triumph, the second-largest margin of victory of Thursday's action behind only Wisconsin's drudging of American (75-35) and the most lopsided victory ever in an NCAA Tournament 8-9 matchup. The Panthers are now winners of four of their last five games to improve to 26-9.

Florida (33-2) wasn't quite as dominant as a No. 1 overall seed is expected to be in its opening game of the tournament against a No. 16 seed, but it was still able to piece together a solid 67-55 victory over Albany to extend its program-record winning streak to 27 games. The Gators have advanced to the Round of 32 in four straight seasons, moving on to the Sweet 16 in each of the previous three years.

Pittsburgh has a 4-2 advantage over Florida in the all-time series, but the latest meeting (1992) came prior to Bill Donovan's tenure as head coach of the Gators.

The Panthers set the tone early against Colorado by scoring the game's first 13 points less than six minutes into the game and their lead was double digits from that point forward, as they shot 50.8 percent from the field, while holding the Buffaloes to only 35.7 percent shooting. Talib Zanna was nearly flawless on his way to 18 points, shooting 6-of-7 from the field and 6-of-6 at the foul line. Cameron Wright added 11 points, Lamar Patterson scored 10 and James Robinson handed out eight assists.

While Pitt's offense has been far from explosive this season, it has still been largely impressive, scoring 72.6 ppg on 46.3 percent shooting. The biggest reason for its success has been the stout play of its defense, as it allows only 61.9 ppg on 41.1 percent shooting while boasting a +2.1 turnover margin. Patterson is one of the nation's best swingmen, posting 17.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.3 apg and 1.4 spg. Zanna patrols the paint with 13.1 ppg (on 58.3 percent from the field) and 8.6 rpg, and Wright brings 10.6 ppg to the table.

The Gators suffered a bit of a scare when Albany tied the score at 39 with 14:32 to play, but they quickly put an end to any threat by ripping off a 12-2 run to create separation. They finished the contest shooting 51.0 percent from the field, while holding Albany to less than 40 percent shooting, but they allowed the Great Danes to hang around by making only 3-of-12 from 3-point range. Casey Prather and Dorian Finney-Smith led the way with 16 points apiece, Scottie Wilbekin and Kasey Hill poured in 10 points apiece and Patric Young tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Florida too has been defined by its outstanding defense, as it holds opponents to just 39.9 percent field-goal shooting for 57.9 ppg, with the latter ranking third-best in the nation. Prather is the top scoring threat with 14.2 ppg, doing so on a lofty 60.9 percent efficiency from the floor. Wilbekin puts up 12.9 ppg and 3.8 apg and earned the SEC Player of the Year. Wilbekin also found a spot on the league's All-Defensive Team alongside Patric Young (11.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg). Michael Frazier (12.6 ppg) has drained 108 3-pointers at a 45.2 percent clip and Finney-Smith adds 9.1 ppg and 6.6 rpg to the mix.

Pittsburgh's defense should be able to keep Florida's offensive playmakers in check and thus keep the game relatively close throughout. However, the Panthers lack the offensive explosion to penetrate the Gators' relentless defensive attack. It might not occur in the flashiest of ways, but expect Florida to continue on to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight year.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida 64, Pittsburgh 55

03/22 10:18:55 ET

Other Stories

  • NFL: Miami at Denver

    Today at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: NC State vs. South Florida

    Today at 4:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NFL: Washington at San Francisco

    Today at 4:15 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Dallas at NY Giants

    Tonight at 8:30 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
4:00pm Today
CREI
NCCU
 
4:00pm Today
NCSU
SFLA
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
6:00pm Tonight
MEM
LAC
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
POR
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
GSW
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
DEN
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
 
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
 
2nd
MORE 42
AMER 44
 
2nd
CORN 49
DREX 43
 
2nd
CCST 41
COOK 39
 
2nd
ARKLR 48
CSNO 46
 
2nd
LEH 29
CLMB 36
 
2nd
USB 48
MERMAR 28
 
2nd
NMU 31
TEXAM 26
 
2nd
STLU 29
TAMCC 24
 
1st
FAIR 29
SD 29
 
1st
EMICH 32
LONG 20
 
1st
ND 25
PROV 25
 
1st
RAD 7
CATAWBA 3
 
1st
DEN 6
COPST 2
 
1st
UAB 3
JST 2
 
1st
WICHS 14
NWM 7
 
1st
OKLA 9
NWST 6
 
3:30pm Today
PSU
USC
3:30pm Today
KSU
YALE
4:00pm Today
CREI
NCCU
 
4:00pm Today
NCSU
SFLA
4:00pm Today
UCR
STKAT
 
4:05pm Today
HC
NICHOLSCOL
 
4:30pm Today
BC
DAY
4:30pm Today
MON
TOWS
4:30pm Today
SAMF
UMKC
4:30pm Today
HOF
WAGN
 
5:00pm Tonight
CIN
EILL
5:00pm Tonight
UGA
FATL
5:00pm Tonight
BRAD
NCAT
 
5:00pm Tonight
LATU
PBY
5:00pm Tonight
RUTG
Terriers
 
5:30pm Tonight
NAVY
BING
6:00pm Tonight
SHU
GWEBB
6:00pm Tonight
UNT
IONA
6:00pm Tonight
KENT
MNTST
6:00pm Tonight
FORD
MLOWELL
 
6:00pm Tonight
UCF
USCU
 
6:30pm Tonight
SCAR
AKR
6:30pm Tonight
WVU
UCONN
7:00pm Tonight
CALST
DEL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HOW
HOOD
 
7:00pm Tonight
OSU
SHU
7:00pm Tonight
VANDY
TENST
8:00pm Tonight
NE
MAN
8:00pm Tonight
COLST
MERC
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
NARZ
8:00pm Tonight
WASH
PAC
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
SDCHR
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAR
MIAMI
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
ODU
9:00pm Tonight
GAELS
UCI
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
LBSU
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
MONT
 
4:30pm Today
WIN
STL
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
MON
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
ARI
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
CHI
3rd
HOU 13
CIN 16
 
3rd
ATL 14
CLE 16
 
3rd
NEP 27
DET 6
 
3rd
MIN 13
GBP 17
 
3rd
IND 20
JAC 3
 
3rd
CHI 7
TAM 10
 
3rd
PHI 34
TEN 17
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
ARI
4:05pm Today
SDC
STL
4:25pm Today
DEN
MIA
4:25pm Today
SFX
WAS
8:30pm Tonight
NYG
DAL