Virginia's Season Ends with 65-39 NCAA Tournament Loss to Florid

UF coach Mike White has Sweet 16-bound Gators surging at perfect time

But No. 4 Florida proved Saturday night that it's defense is also among one of the nation's best, as the Gators outdueled the Cavaliers for a 65-39 victory in the Amway Center.

Kasey Hill needed a superlative defensive effort Saturday night, so the Florida senior point guard figured why not channel one of his favorite National Basketball Association stars of the past.

The inspiration worked, with Florida holding Virginia to its lowest point total since 2013.

The victory sends No. 4-seeded Florida into the East Regional semifinals against No. 8 seed Wisconsin on Friday at Madison Square Garden in NY. They clanked 70 percent of their shots, 14 of their 15 three-point attempts. Saturday Virginia went 1-for-15 from deep, missing its last 13. The Cavaliers matched the lowest output in an NCAA game by a Power 5 conference team since 2000, scored the fewest points against the Gators in Florida's tournament history and scored the fewest points in its post-season history.

"If Devin and Justin don't step up and hit the shots they hit, this would have been a war until the end", White said about the game against Virginia. He didn't hit his second field goal until the 9:45 mark of the second half.

"I don't think he was forcing things. I'm not expecting him to play, but you never know". "He was off", Hill said.

Hill was modest in taking credit.

"We've played really well at times this year", said Florida Coach Mike White. That's how dominant the Gators defense was tonight. "There's probably going to be a lot of subs because we're going to be exhausted, because we have to sprint on defense after every shot and make sure they don't get any easy buckets".

Robinson's numbers - 14 points, 11 defensive rebounds - don't accurately sum up a defensive impact that has been big reason for the Gators' run to the Sweet 16. "They accomplished some stuff this year, but we've got to get better, and we've got to continue to recruit well, continue to develop players well".

"I told you guys on whatever day, I hold this with open hands, and I have to", Bennett said. The ease with which UF pulled away, however, didn't come as a complete surprise to Robinson. We defended, probably, a little better, made just a couple less mistakes defensively ... but we made shots. "We were watching some film, and somebody turned it over, and he took maybe two dribbles and they were down on the other side of the free throw line, and he got a bucket that fast". "I guess today it was just knocking down a couple of the shots, but most of the time it's just me playing hard, and today it just happened to be me, I guess, getting some threes".

The Gators will advance to the second weekend of the tournament for the first time since 2014, when they reached the Final Four.

Here's how topsy-turvy a night it was for UVA on the offensive end: the leading scorers were Mamadi Diakite and Jack Salt.

"If we're not shooting well, it's hard for us", Virginia coach Tony Bennett said.

The Cavs' fate became obvious during a 7-minute, 55-second scoring drought that touched both halves and allowed the Gators to build a 21-point lead. "We've got some good young talent, and Coach Bennett is a genius behind it", Perrantes said.

"I was trying to figure out at the half is there anything we can do?"

Related News: