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Men's Basketball Headline

The Gators celebrate their first NCAA Basketball title.

Monday April 3, 2006Men?s Basketball Downs UCLA, 73-57, To Win First NCAA Title

Indianapolis, IN

The Gators celebrate their first NCAA Basketball title.

The University of Florida menís basketball team capped a magical season with a 73-57 victory over UCLA at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis on Monday night to bring home the schoolís first NCAA Championship on the hardwood. The Gators (33-6) captured their final 11 games of the season, including a perfect 6-0 NCAA Tourney run, and snapped the Bruinsí (32-7) winning streak at 12 games.

Head coach Billy Donovan became the third person to play in a Final Four (for Providence in 1987; third-place finish) and then win an NCAA Championship as a coach. Bobby Knight and Dean Smith are the other coaches to win national titles after playing in a Final Four.

Chosen as the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, sophomore Joakim Noah (New York, N.Y.) totaled 16 points, nine rebounds and a title-game record six blocks to key the victory for the Gators. Noahís six blocked shots matched an individual Final Four record set by Danny Manning of Kansas in 1988 and equaled by Marcus Camby of UMass in 1996. He finished with 29 for the tournament, breaking the Tourney record previously held by Arizona's Loren Woods.

Sophomore Lee Humphrey (Maryville, Tenn.) notched 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting from behind the three-point arc, and also added one rebound and two assists. Sophomore Al Horford (Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic) chipped in with 14 points, grabbed seven boards and dished three assists, while sophomore Corey Brewer (Portland, Tenn.) added 11 points, six rebounds and four assists.

University of Florida National Titles

Sport

Year

National Titles

Men's Basketball

2006

NCAA Championships

Women's Tennis

2003

NCAA Championships

Menís Golf

2001

NCAA Championships

Womenís Tennis

1998

NCAA Championships

Soccer

1998

NCAA Championships

Womenís Tennis

1997

National Team Indoor

Women's Tennis

1996

NCAA Championships

Football

1996

Associated Press/Coaches'

Womenís Tennis

1996

National Team Indoor

Men's Golf

1993

NCAA Championships

Women's Track

1992

NCAA Indoor Championships

Women's Tennis

1992

National Team Indoor

Women's Tennis

1992

NCAA Championships

Women's Tennis

1991

National Team Indoor

Women's Tennis

1988

National Team Indoor

Women's Golf

1986

NCAA Championships

Women's Golf

1985

NCAA Championships

Men's Swimming

1984

NCAA Championships

Football

1984

Sporting News/NY Times

Men's Swimming

1983

NCAA Championships

Gymnastics

1982

AIAW Nationals

Women's Swimming

1982

NCAA Championships

Women's Swimming

1979

AIAW Nationals

Men's Golf

1973

NCAA Championships

Men's Golf

1968

NCAA Championships

 

Florida took the lead for good on a basket by Horford at the 17:24 mark of the first half and never gave it up. Senior Adrian Moss (Houston, Texas) came off the bench to light a fire for the Gators, scoring nine points, grabbing six rebounds and making plays in the first half. At the 14:43 mark, Moss sunk a jump shot in the lane to put the Gators up, 15-8, then followed it up by drawing a charge on the other end.

Humphrey later knocked down the elusive four-point play, sinking the charity toss after being fouled shooting a trey, to extend Floridaís lead to 25-15. UF maintained its advantage for the remainder of the half, taking a 36-25 advantage into the locker room. The total represented the most points allowed in a half by UCLA during the NCAA Tournament.

Humphrey and Brewer opened up the second half with three behind-the-arc shots in the first four minutes, which would prove to put the game out of reach. In the fast-paced second half, Florida scored 16 points on dunks and led by as many as 20 points before going on to win, 73-56.

The Gators won by taking it right to UCLA early, looking to Noah, Brewer and Moss down low, making the extra pass in the key and finishing with 21 assists on 21 field goals, 10 of which came from their frontcourt. Florida held the Bruins to 36 percent shooting from the field, and 17 percent from three-point range.

Game notes

  • The Gatorsí 16-point (73-57) margin of victory was the highest since Duke beat Michigan, 71-51, in the 1992 Championship game.
  • This was the first time in four tries that an SEC school defeated a Pac-10 team for a National Championship. This was the SECís ninth national title, as Kentucky (seven) and Arkansas (one) have also emerged victorious.
  • Florida blocked 10 shots, setting a new team championship game record for blocked shots. The previous record was seven, set six times, the last being Syracuse in 2003. The 10 blocked shots marked a new Final Four record.
  • UFís 10 blocked shots tied the RCA Dome single-game record (Connecticut in 1996) and set an RCA Dome Final Four record.
  • Florida blocked 14 shots over the two games this weekend, just one blocked shot shy of the Final Four record (Maryland blocked 15 shots in 2002).
  • As a team, the Gators blocked 44 shots in the NCAA Tournament, which is second all-time. Kentucky swatted 48 shots in the 1998 NCAA Tournament.
  • Florida finished the season on an 11-game winning streak. It held opponents to 59.4 points per game during the streak, with a high of 71 by Arkansas and a low of 47 by South Carolina. The Gators did not allow more than 62 points in any of their six NCAA victories.
  • The win over UCLA was the second time in the NCAA Tournament that Florida held an opponent to less than 30 percent from the field in the first half (UCLA shot 29.6 percent in the first stanza). In four of their six NCAA games, the Gators held opponents below 40 percent shooting in the first half.
  • Floridaís average margin of victory was 16.0 points in the NCAA Tournament. The largest margin was the Gatorsí 76-50 victory over South Alabama in the first round. Georgetown was the lone team to loss by less than a double-figure margin (57-53) to the Gators, falling to them in the Regional semifinals.
  • Lee Humphrey had 10 three-pointers in his two Final Four games. That mark ties him for second all-time throughout a pair of Final Four games. Luther Head of Illinois made 11 three-pointers in two Final Four games in 2005.
  • Humphrey hit back-to-back treys to start the second half against UCLA. On Saturday, Humphrey began the second half against George Mason with three consecutive three-pointers.
  • Florida had 21 assists, which tied for the third-most in a championship game. The record is 24 assists by UNLV in 1990. The 21 assists tied the RCA Dome Final Four record.
  • Taurean Green led the Gators with eight assists, tying a Florida NCAA Tournament individual game record. Dan Cross also had eight assists against Duke in 1994.
  • Floridaís 18 three-pointers in the two Final Four games tied for fourth all-time. Illinois is the all-time leader with 24 three-pointers in 2005.
  • The six turnovers by the Gators were a season-low.

 

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