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

--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

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

--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’s Josh Vadeboncoeur steps up with a series review.’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.


--Former North Carolina coach Dean Smith’s memory has faded and 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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