The Florida Gators nearing blew a 18 point lead but in the end hung on for an upset victory as the #10 seed Gators beat #7 seeded Nevada Wolfpack 70-61 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Des Moines, IA.The Gators held the Wolfpack’s high powered offense throughout the entire game, but a late run nearly ended a strong defensive effort by Mike White’s Gators defense which could have eliminated Florida from the round of 64.
It was a tale of two halves for the Gators who pulled out to an 11 point lead at the half behind 13 points from Jalen Hudson and Florida shooting 48% from the field while holding a Nevada squad who averaged 80 points per game only amassed 28 in the first half.
Things would change quickly in the second half as the Wolfpack made it a game by going on an 18-4 run at one point in the game erasing a Florida lead of up to 18 down to a single possession game.However the Gators closed on a 7-0 run to officially eliminate the Wolfpack who won 29 games this season while the Gators earned their 20th game this season.
Four Gators starters were in double figures led by Kevarrius Hayes with 16 points.Keyontae Johnson finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Gators will now face the winner of the #2 Michigan v #15 Montana contest on Saturday.
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