banner

College Basketball

more stats

Northwestern State (23-8) vs. Florida (26-7)



Friday, March 22, 7:27 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Erwin Center (16,734) -- Austin, Texas. Television: truTV. NCAA Tournament Record: Northwestern State 2-2, Florida 35-15. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: Second-round action in the South Region of the 2013 NCAA Tournament continues on Friday night, as the third-seeded Florida Gators tangle with the 14th-seeded Northwestern State Demons at the Erwin Center.

The survivor will advance to Sunday's third round to play the winner of sixth- seeded UCLA and 11th-seeded Minnesota.

Northwestern State is celebrating its 100th year of men's basketball with its third trip to the NCAA Tournament after finishing the season with a 23-8 overall record and a 15-3 mark in the Southland Conference, capped off by a 68-66 win over Stephen F. Austin the conference tournament championship game. The Demons last made the tournament field in 2006 when, also as a No. 14 seed, they shocked No. 3 seed Iowa (64-63) to advance to the Round of 32.

Florida (26-7) earned the SEC regular-season title outright, and while it lost the SEC Tournament championship game to Ole Miss (66-63), its entire body of work was clearly the most impressive of any team in the under performing SEC, with a resume' that included strong non-conference wins over Wisconsin, Middle Tennessee and Marquette. Under head coach Billy Donovan, the Gators have been one of the tournament's most impressive teams, having qualified for the event 13 times in his 17-year tenure, while having advanced to at least the Elite Eight in four of the past seven seasons. Florida won a pair of national titles in 2006 and 2007.

This matchup marks the first-ever time these two squads have faced each other on the hardwood.

The Demons' calling card has been their high-flying offense, which shoots 46 percent from the field for 81.0 ppg -- ranking first in all of Division I. Despite making only two starts this season, DeQuan Hicks is the team's top scoring threat, pouring in 14.1 ppg on nearly 59 percent from the field while adding 5.8 rpg for good measure. Shamir Davis scores 12.5 ppg, James Hulbin nets 12.1 ppg and hauls in 5.9 rpg, while Jalen West puts up 10.3 ppg and is the team leader in both assists (5.2 pg) and steals (74). With Northwestern State's high-tempo offense comes vulnerability at the defensive end of the floor however, as it allows opposing teams to score 71.2 ppg.

The Gators are fortunate to have a strong offensive attack, scoring 71.6 ppg, but the biggest reason for their tremendous success this season has been their outstanding scoring defense, which allows a mere 53.7 ppg (third in the nation), and they've yielded 50 points or fewer 12 times. Erik Murphy nets 12.6 ppg on nearly 53 percent from the field while adding 5.5 rpg, and he was named to the All-SEC First Team. Right on Murphy's heels for the scoring lead are Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario, who both pour in 12.3 ppg, and the three top scorers for UF have combined for 186 3-pointers. Patric Young (10.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 1.7) and Scottie Wilbekin (9.0 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.5 spg) round out the starting five, and both were named to the SEC's All-Defensive Team.

Northwestern State can certainly light up the scoreboard, but it hasn't faced a defensive team nearly as stingy as Florida, so the Demons are in for a rude awakening if they think their usually-potent style will be successful against such a gritty squad. Expect the Gators to have a relatively easy time of it in this one as they advance to the third round.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida 77, Northwestern State 63

03/22 10:32:15 ET

Other Stories

  • US Open Tennis: Men’s & Women’s Third Round

    Today at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • ACC Football Kickoff Show

    Tonight at 7:00 on WRAL-TV

  • US Open Tennis: Men’s Third Round & Women’s Fourth Round

    Tomorrow at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • High School Wrap Up Show

    Today at 9:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • Logan Zone

    Today at 10:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • CFB: NC State vs Georgia Southern

    Today at 12:30 pm on WRAL-FM

  • CFB: Virginia vs. Alabama

    Today at 3:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Football Friday

    Tonight at 11:35

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 0
DUR 1
 
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
12:30pm Today
NCSU
GASO
6:00pm Tonight
DUKE
ELON
 
6:00pm Tonight
UNC
LBRTY
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
8:00pm Tonight
ECU
NCCU
 
Final
PIT 2
CIN 1
Final
BAL 9
MIN 1
Final
TOR 3
NYY 6
Final
TAM 4
BOS 8
Final
NYM 4
PHI 1
Final
ATL 5
MIA 2
Final
KAN 1
CLE 6
Final
CWS 1
DET 7
Final
HOU 6
TEX 13
Final
STL 2
CHC 7
Final
ARI 5
COL 2
Final
ANA 4
OAK 0
12th
SDP 2
LOS 2
 
Final
SEA 3
WAS 8
Final
SFG 13
MIL 2
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
MIN
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
BOS
 
7:10pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
CWS
DET
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
HOU
TEX
 
8:10pm Tonight
ARI
COL
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
CHC
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
 
9:05pm Tonight
SFG
MIL
 
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
9:10pm Tonight
SEA
WAS
 
Final
UCONN 10
BYU 35
Final
WKENT 59
BGU 31
Final
MSU 45
JVST 7
Final
COL 17
COLST 31
Final
HOU 7
TXSANANTO 27
 
Final
ARZ 58
UNLV 13
 
8:30am Today
UCF
PSU
12:00pm Today
MICH
APPST
12:00pm Today
NAVY
OSU
12:00pm Today
UAB
TROY
12:00pm Today
UVA
UCLA
12:00pm Today
PURD
WMICH
12:30pm Today
NCSU
GASO
3:00pm Today
UMASS
BC
3:30pm Today
NW
CAL
3:30pm Today
NEB
FATL
3:30pm Today
UMO
MARS
3:30pm Today
ND
RICE
3:30pm Today
MIZZ
SDST
3:30pm Today
ALA
WVU
4:00pm Today
AUB
ARK
4:00pm Today
STAN
UCD
5:30pm Tonight
UGA
CLEM
6:00pm Tonight
UNC
LBRTY
6:00pm Tonight
KSU
OHIO
7:00pm Tonight
UF
IDAHO
7:00pm Tonight
OKLA
LATU
7:10pm Tonight
KST
SAUST
7:30pm Tonight
USC
FRES
7:30pm Tonight
MSST
SMISS
8:00pm Tonight
OKST
FSU
8:00pm Tonight
TEX
UNT
8:00pm Tonight
NMU
UTEP
9:00pm Tonight
LSU
WISC
10:30pm Tonight
OREG
SD
10:30pm Tonight
HAW
WASH
Final
NOR 0
DUR 1
 
Final
NOR 1
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
6:00pm Tonight
DUKE
ELON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ECU
NCCU