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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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  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
Final
TOR 114
DET 110
 
Final
SAN 101
MIL 95
Final
GSW 114
BOS 111
Final
DEN 115
WAS 117
4th
LAL 79
HOU 92
 
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
Final
MD 68
NW 67
Final
UTAH 77
WASH 56
Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
Final
CARTER 28
IRVIN 32