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Monday March 10, 2014 The ICYMI Gators File: Special Day at O'Dome, Bracketology, VH3, Jammin' Joakim, more tidbits

Updated: 4:35pm, March 10

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – March Madness has arrived.

The No. 1-ranked Gators head to Atlanta later this week for the SEC Tournament and will learn their NCAA Tournament destination on Sunday night.

The Gators capped a memorable regular season with Saturday’s 84-65 win over Kentucky, becoming the first SEC team in history to go 18-0 on SEC play. 

Let’s take at some of the buzz generated by Billy Donovan’s team and other stories of interest to Florida fans:

--The New York Times paid a visit to the O’Connell Center on Saturday for Florida’s historic win over Kentucky. Click here for a story by Tom Spousta.

Gators pumped up

--Tampa Tribune columnist Martin Fennelly asks ‘Why not the Gators?

--Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi is probably not a popular person on Kentucky message boards after writing this column on Billy Donovan off Florida’s win over the Wildcats on Saturday.

--John Clay of the Lexington Herald-Leader writes that Kentucky is on wrong side of history as postseason beckons.

--Florida seniors Patric Young, Scottie Wilbekin, Casey Prather and Will Yeguete were featured in Sports Illustrated last week. SI writer Andy Staples wrote a longer version for SI.com than appeared in the magazine.

--Gators icon Steve Spurrier is no fan of columnist Ron Morris of The State newspaper in South Carolina, but Morris is a fan of the Gators basketball team. 

--Florida’s four seniors have sparked a lot of debate this year in college basketball about the importance of experience over hyped youth. Sporting News college basketball writer Mike DeCourcy throws out an interesting question: In a game pitting the top freshmen against the top seniors this season, which team would you go with?

--Gators freshman point guard Kasey Hill played like a veteran Saturday writes Kevin Brockway of The Gainesville Sun.

--GatorCountry.com writer Richard Johnson braved the cool night to camp with the Rowdy Reptiles prior to Saturday’s game.

--ESPN.com’s college basketball writers hand out some awards, with Gators coach Billy Donovan getting tabbed as National Coach of the Year by more than one panelist.

--The NCAA Tournament schedule via ESPN.com.

--How does Gators vs. Wright State in first round in Orlando sound? That is latest forecast from Bracketology with Joe Lunardi.

Vernon Hargreaves III

--Gators cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III doesn’t need to be pushed to be motivated writes Edward Aschoff of ESPN.com.

--UF spring predictions: Whole new attitude via Jeff Barlis of ESPN.com.

--The Sporting News looks at its top 25 players to watch in spring football and two Gators make the grade.

--Former UF standout Joakim Noah continues to play the best of his career – had dad approved of Sunday’s win over the Bulls writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.

--The Florida baseball team pulled off three extra-inning wins over UConn and CollegeBaseballCentral.com’s Josh Vadeboncoeur steps up with a series review. 

--AlligatorArmy.com’s Andy Hutchins writes about the UF gymnastics team’s memorable Senior Night on Friday at the O’Dome.

--Five months ago a couple of former Gators – Walter Pitchford and Cody Larson – squared off in a preseason scrimmage. Pitchford moved a step closer to an NCAA Tourney bid with the Huskers’ win over Wisconsin Sunday. 

--Speaking of Larson, his South Dakota State team that beat Nebraska in that scrimmage is also knocking at the NCAA Tournament’s door.

BONUS LINK

--Former North Carolina coach Dean Smith’s memory has faded and ESPN.com writer Tommy Tomlinson captures the mood around Chapel Hill masterfully. This is definitely worth a read if you like good storytelling.

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