You’ll be forgiven if you were a little surprised by this one.
Who? The Gators of Florida.
What? Marketing works. I’m not sure if Albert and Alberta are named after Albert Murphree or if they’re just names that shorten to Al. (At least they have full first names instead of just being Al E. Gator and Ally Gator.)
Where? Gainesville, Florida, one of the meanest cities in the USA.
When? March 23rd, in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Why? Uh. I. Ah. Er. You’re going to have to ask the committee on that one, because I didn’t even have Florida in my pile of “teams that maybe could possibly make it”.
How? They were an at-large selection.
Surprise? Predicted to finish ninth in the conference, they ended up in fifth.
Record: 19-12 (8-8 SEC)
Good wins: At Kentucky.
Bad losses: Illinois State in the Junkanoo Jam.
Who’s running this show? Amanda Butler, since 2007; she was a star guard at Florida.
Extra, Extra! The Gainesville Sun.
Hard-charging senior guard Jaterra Bonds is the leader for the Gators, with 15.6 points and 4.3 assists per game. She and junior guard Kayla Lewis, the squad’s second-leading scorer at 11.9 points to go with 8.6 rebounds, are the only two Gators to start every game. Random stat that may only intrigue me: Ronni Williams’s truly fantastic ability to foul out of games- 16 DQs on the year, just over half of Florida’s slate.