UF takes Care of Business and defeats ETSU

Kristopher Drake
March 18, 2017

Florida will take on the Virginia Cavaliers in Orlando in round two Saturday, with the victor earning a trip to the Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. East Tennessee State won 79-74.

"(Bacon) has been our go-to guy all year", Hamilton said.

Then came Robinson to the rescue with a little help from Kevarrius Hayes, who became Florida's version of The Eraser in the second half.

"Both of our teams are going to have a big fan base here, so the game should be really good", Smith said. He loves playing defense. "We've had eight different leading scorers". ETSU is shooting 38.3 percent from 3-point range and makes 7.5 3-pointers per game. But FGCU made it interesting in the waning moments as the Seminoles let a sizeable lead slip away because of missed free throws and untimely fouls.

"I thought at the beginning of the game everybody had that kind of nervous exhaustion", he said. He stayed aggressive. That's what I ask him to do. But make no mistake, Forbes knew exactly how to get his players motivated for the game. That's always been one of Duke's keys, and I think they've been successful over the years.

"As we know, so a month ago with John Egbunu getting us a couple extra possessions a game offensively on the offensive glass, one of the most hard guys in the country to block out, cleaning up some mistakes at the rim, we don't have that luxury", White said.

While Isaac, Michael Ojo and Christ Koumadje put on a dunking show, Bacon was the difference-maker with 24 points on 11 of 17 shooting and also collected nine rebounds. The Gators would close the first half by missing 14 of their next 21 shots. It would have been worse than that but the Bucs hit a flurry of shots in the final minutes after the game had already been decided. At the 8:54 mark of the second half, Chiozza seemed to come out of nowhere to corral a long rebound between two ETSU defenders. He didn't need to play on a block or a wing, and he didn't feel compelled to finish every time he got the ball.

That made it 59-43.

"We've played a couple of teams in transition offense that are just terrific and we've stressed floor balance so much", White said. But the Dunk City Eagles trail them by three.

"Kasey did a good job on Cromer at times".

If you want an indicator of who might win Thursday's game, check the score at halftime.

"Robinson really hurt us, and he hurt us in a lot of ways", Forbes said. He made some threes.

Florida bragging rights will be on the line Thursday when No. 3 seed Florida State battles No. 14 seed Florida Gulf Coast in the first round of the West Region.

Although some were veterans, it's the first tournament game with FGCU for the band's co-director, Brandon Robertson.

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