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Virginia vs. Florida West Region Gambling Free Picks & Preview

West Bracket – Gators vs Cavaliers Handicapping Pick

A pair of teams with two drastically different styles will face off in this one, as the seventh-seed Florida Gators take on the No. 10 Virginia Cavaliers in a second-round West Regional game in Omaha on Friday afternoon.  

(7) Florida Gators (23-10, SEC) vs. (10) Virginia Cavaliers (22-9, ACC)
Date/Time: 2:10 PM ET, Friday, March 16, 2012
Venue: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Nebraska
Broadcast: TBS
Spread: Florida -3.5
Over/Under: 121

Matchup | Preview

The Gators will aim to get their dynamic backcourt back on the rails after stumbling in the postseason, employing the skills of explosive guards Kenny Boyton, Brad Beal and Erving Walker.

In contrast to their championship teams from 2006 and 2007, this Gators squad is much more perimeter oriented, pushing the tempo and absolutely thriving on the three-point shot, leading the nation in the regular season with 10 threes a game.

However, Florida who shot 39 percent from beyond the arc as a team, ironically struggle against the three.

Something that won’t really be an issue, as Virginia barley cracks 30 percent from beyond the arc, relying mainly on its stingy defense that allows just 53 points a game– second only to Wisconsin in the field. On average the Cavs held their opponents to 39 percent shooting from the field and 29 percent from long range. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

They are led by Mike Scott who has been lights out, leading the team in points and rebounds with 17 and eight.

Virginia will need everything they can get from their fifth-year senior as they are not coming into the tournament at full strength. They recently lost Malcolm Brogdon to a season-ending injury and starting center Assane Sene was suspended for the remainder of the season back on January 22.

So their depth will be a concern.

The Cavaliers will hungry though after making their first appearance in the NCAA tournament since 2007, when they advanced to the second round. But the Gators who won two national titles under coach Billy Donovan, who is 25-9 in the NCAA tournament won’t be pushed around.

The teams have met once before when Virginia beat Florida in the semifinals of the 1992 NIT.

Prediction- Florida-Look for the guard play of Florida to carry them past the tough defense of Virginia, but it won’t be easy.

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