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Tuesday April 3, 2007Men's Basketball Captures Back-To-Back National Championships

Atlanta

The University of Florida men’s basketball team capped another magical season Monday night, this time with an 84-75 victory over Ohio State at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to claim the national title for the second-straight year.

 

With the victory, the Gators became the first team since 1991 and 1992 to repeat as champions (Duke).

 

Florida (35-5) won the final 10 games of the season, and now owns an 18-game win streak in postseason play (12-0 in the NCAA Tournament). Ohio State ended its season with a 35-4 record as the Gators snapped the Buckeye’s 22-game win streak.

 

Head coach Billy Donovan joined elite company as he became the 12th coach to win multiple NCAA titles and is one of only four active coaches to do so (Mike Kryzewski 3, Bobby Knight 3, Jim Calhoun 2). He also became the third-youngest coach to win multiple NCAA titles at 41 years of age (Knight, Indiana - 35, 40; Phil Woolpert, San Francisco - 39, 40).

 

The University of Florida has now won 21 national champions in all sports combined with the most recent before tonight coming when the Gator football team also defeated Ohio State in the BCS national title game (41-14, Jan. 8, 2007). UF remains the only program in history to hold both championships at the same time.

 

The first half saw the Gators build a cushion which extended to as many as 13 when Taurean Green nailed a three-pointer with just under a minute before the half. Green helped the Gators connect on 6-of-9 from behind the three-point arc in the first half. He and Corey Brewer led the team with 11 points at the halfway mark.

 

Three pointers proved to be a major story as UF finished the night 10-for-18, while the Buckeyes were 4-for-23.

 

The Buckeyes cut the Florida advantage to seven twice in the second half and made its biggest push with five minutes remaining to slice the lead to 66-60. Green answered though by hitting the Gator’s 10th three pointer of the game and Al Horford put things out of reach when his jumper made it 73-62 with just over three minutes to go.

 

Brewer was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. He finished the night with 13 points and eight rebounds. Horford led all Gators with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Green had 16 points. Lee Humphrey posted 14 points and was 4-for-7 on three point attempts.

 

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