Around the web: Nigel Hayes doesn't love NY

The Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight will both be decided this weekend, so the time is now to revise your picks for bragging rights.

Gard has faced hard situations in both seasons since he replaced his mentor, Bo Ryan.

"Those guys have made me a better coach", Gard said.

After a season settling in, White has built the Gators into his own image: tough-minded, defense-oriented, full of guts.

Defensively, White said the team has invested in being more unselfish as the season progressed. Have you seen how it has done it?

The Gators have put together a solid 2017 class that includes three borderline three-four star recruits - 6-6 swingman DeAundrae Ballard of Atlanta, 6-8 forward Chase Johnson of Ripley, W. Va., and 6-8 forward Isaiah Stokes of Memphis, Tenn. The trio was bad in the second round against Virginia, combining to shoot 4-for-18 from the field for 14 points.

While Florida beat Arkansas, it then lost two in a row to Vanderbilt (making for a three-game sweep at the hands of the Commodores) to render that hot streak, which was as dominant as any team has been in college basketball this season, nearly forgotten entering the NCAA Tournament. They have the third most efficient defense, and they average 116.6 points per 100 possessions, which is sixteenth in the nation.

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It didn't start well, that's for sure. Then came this season, and until two weeks from the start of the NCAA tourney - when Florida lost three of its final four regular-season games after standing 23-5 on February 21 after an 81-66 win over SC - the rowdy reptiles looked every bit like a Sweet 16 squad, if not a Final Four dark horse.

The Gators rank 10th in the country when it comes to running their opponents off the three point line. "(We) have been in a lot of those environments, as has Florida". They turned a 15-15 tie into a 31-15 lead with 2:50 left in the first half. They are poised under pressure and don't get rattled easily.

There were several moments in the first half Friday when it felt like the Gators were going to get run out of the building. "You're working for 40-minute segments".

Instead, they were up by two and extended that lead to double digits early in the second half. The incident led to Hayes and Hill taking a step back during the national anthem two weeks later, another protest supported by their coach.

The Badgers didn't appear like a team capable of going on a tourney run when they lost five of six games late in the regular season.

"Now it's handling some other things, shoring up some things and getting back to doing some things that have allowed this team to be successful". Hill is the only Gator with NCAA Tournament experience prior to this year, while the remaining Badgers from that last meeting - Bronson Koenig, Nigel Hayes and Vitto Brown - have since played in a national championship game and competed in two Sweet 16s. Just one game after he made a school-record eight 3-pointers and tallied 28 points against Virginia Tech in the NCAA opener, he scored 17 against Nova as Wisconsin shot 53.1 percent. One more and it's on to the Final Four.

Bet you didn't see that coming.