DALLAS (AP) — No. 6 seed Florida (20-12) vs. No. 11 seed St. Bonaventure (26-7) First round, East Region; Dallas; Thursday, 9:57 p.m. ET.
DALLAS (AP) — No. 6 seed Florida (20-12) vs. No. 11 seed St. Bonaventure (26-7)
First round, East Region; Dallas; Thursday, 9:57 p.m. ET.
BOTTOM LINE: The Bonnies won their first NCAA Tournament game in 48 years by beating UCLA in a First Four game Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. Courtney Stockard scored 26 points for St. Bonaventure in his return from a hamstring injury. Florida has reached at least the Elite Eight in its past five NCAA Tournament appearances, most recently last season when the Gators lost to South Carolina in the East Regional final.
QUICK TURN: About 12 hours after arriving in Dallas, St. Bonaventure was the last team to take questions from reporters and go through a practice session at the home of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. The Bonnies tried to shrug it off. "We've had quick turnarounds all year long," guard Matt Mobley said. "We're ready to go, and we can't use anything as an excuse."
REMATCH: Florida beat St. Bonaventure 73-66 in a neutral site game in Lakeland, Florida, early last season. The Bonnies got 20-point games from guards Mobley (28 points) and Jaylen Adams (20), the senior leaders of this team. KeVaughn Allen was the leading scorer among returning Florida players with 16 points.
GATOR THREATS: Point guard Chris Chiozza and Allen are the biggest returning contributors from the Sweet 16 run. Chiozza hit a running 3-pointer to beat the buzzer in an 84-83 overtime win against Wisconsin in the regional semifinals, and Allen scored a career-high 35 points in that game. Egor Koulechov brings plenty of experience as a graduate transfer from Rice who was a freshman at Arizona State when the Sun Devils lost to Texas on a buzzer beater in an NCAA Tournament opener in 2014.