WATCH LIVE: No. 4 Seed Florida Gators, No. 3 Seed Florida State Seminoles Look To Advance To Sweet 16 Tonight

By  //  March 18, 2017

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Gators face UVA, Noles battle tough Xavier

SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Space Coast Daily Sports Talk live from NCAA March Madness at theAmway Center. Joining Space Coast Daily’s Alan Zlotorzynski is Courtney Mims from ESPN Radio in Gainesville. Alan and Courtney will breakdown Florida Gators & Florida-State-Seminoles.

ABOVE VIDEO: Chris Chiozza speaks with Space Coast Daily after the Florida Gators played their best defensive game of the year at the right time in a 65-39 win to advance to Sweet 16, where the Gators will face Wisconsin.

ABOVE VIDEO: News conference with Virginia, Florida, Xavier and Florida State at the NCAA Tournament.

FLORIDA vs. UVA: 8:40 p.m. Tipoff, Watch On TNT

ORLANDO, FLORIDA — Maybe, it was just fitting that Florida junior forward Devin Robinson and the University of Virginia eventually would cross paths. Robinson grew up in Chesterfield, Va., outside Richmond.

His mother graduated from UVA. The Cavaliers, at best, were lukewarm on recruiting Robinson, so he went looking elsewhere.

On Saturday, they’ll be on the Amway Center floor together when the fourth-seeded Gators (25-8) face the No. 5-seed Cavs (23-10) in the NCAA East Region’s second round, with a berth to the Sweet 16 in the balance.

“My mom said she’s going to wear orange; the alma mater vs. her son,” Robinson said Friday. “She’s going with her son, obviously.”

UF earned its date with UVA in no small part because of Robinson, who went for a career-high 24 points, seven rebounds, two blocked shots and some highlight-reel slam dunks in Thursday’s 80-65 opening-round defeat of East Tennessee State.

The Gators got it going in the second half, coming alive after a cold opening period hitting some outside shots, including six 3-pointers, and forcing the Buccaneers into mistakes UF turned into transition opportunities.

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FLORIDA STATE vs. XAVIER: 6:10 p.m. Tipoff, Watch On TNT

Although they come from separate conferences and separate parts of the country and haven’t met on a basketball court in nearly 60 years, Florida State and Xavier both feel they have a good idea of what to expect from the other when they meet in the NCAA tournament Round of 32 on Saturday.

Xavier coach Chris Mack got plenty familiar with Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles during his time as an assistant (2001-04) at Wake Forest.

Gators Thwart East Tenn. State’s Upset Bid With Strong Second Half, Advance To Round Of 32Related Story:
Gators Thwart East Tenn. State’s Upset Bid With Strong Second Half, Advance To Round Of 32

And although much has changed in FSU’s program over the last 13 years – Hamilton himself didn’t arrive until 2002 – Mack can see one thing that hasn’t changed when he turns on the Seminoles’ film.

“It’s amazing how Leonard Hamilton’s teams play very, very hard all the time,” Mack said Friday. “I was an assistant at Wake Forest years ago, and that was always a trademark of his teams.”

FSU, meanwhile, can look at a pair of common opponents and get a feel for what the Musketeers do well.

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