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Sunday March 19, 2000Men's Hoops beat Illinois 93-76 for Sweet 16 Berth

Winston-Salem, NC

The fifth-seeded University of Florida men's basketball team moved into the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the second straight year with a 93-76 victory over Illinois in the East Regional in Winston-Salem, N.C. Sunday afternoon.

Sophomore forward Mike Miller, who scored 13 of his team-high 19 points in the second half, says the free throw shooting was a major factor in the victory. "I just think we shot well, and that's what it's going to take for us to win", said Miller in the post-game interview room. "If we didn't shoot as well as we did, the game's going to be alot closer down the stretch".

Florida staged a 13-5 run to close out the first half for a 40-34 halftime lead.

Sophomore guard Teddy Dupay and freshman guard Brett Nelson, pictured above, (photo-Craig Jones/ALLSPORT) hit key three-pointers early in the second half as Florida moved out to a 53-41 lead. Dupay and Nelson scored 16 points apiece, while sophomore center Udonis Haslem finished with 15. Keeping their fouls to a minimum in the second half was another big key for the Gators.

"We did not foul in the second half", said Florida coach Billy Donovan. "The game was going up and down the floor and it allowed us to fastbreak and get out in transition and get some easy buckets".

Donovan is now 4-1 in tournament play since becoming head head coach four years ago.

Florida now moves on to play an East Regional semi- final game Friday against first-seed Duke at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.

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