College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, March 27, 2014
Awarded the top seeding in the tournament, the Florda Gators proved their value, disassembling UCLA, 79-68, to advance to the South regional final where they will face the upstart, 11th-seeded Dayton Flyers on Saturday.
Florida established an early lead against the Bruins, led 36-30 at the half and were never headed, cruising to their 29th straight victory, the longest winning streak in the country.
Down 11-8 just six minutes into the game, Florida hit four straight three-pointers - three of them by Michael Frazier II - led 20-16 just 2 1/2 minutes later and held that lead for the remainder of the contest.
Florida's lead would eventually swell to as many as 11 on a few occasions and the Bruins cut it to one point midway through the second half, but the Gators pulled away once again. UCLA could only draw within seven points in the final six minutes as Florida players executed their offense and made free throws down the stretch.
Frazier finished the scoring on a breakaway dunk and was 5-for-8 from beyond the arc, finishing with a game-high 19 points, along with six rebounds and three assists.
On the opposite side of the South bracket, Dayton continued its successful run through the post-season with an 82-72 win over Stanford, the #10 seed in the region.
The West regional final was set for Saturday as #2 Wisconsin hammered Baylor, 69-52, and top seed Arizona handled San Diego State, 70-64.
Friday night's match-ups include Iowa State vs. Connecticut and Virginia vs. Michigan State in the East. The Midwest games are Tennessee vs. Michigan, followed by the blockbuster Louisville vs. Kentucky meeting.