Welcome to the Final Four, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation. This is the open game thread for game one of Final Four Saturday, the Florida Gators vs. the Connecticut Huskies. This looks like an outstanding matchup that should be a lot of fun.
Let's take quick look at this upcoming game:
If you look at the chart above, you'll see the only real advantage the Huskies have over the Gators is ballhandling, and that margin is statistically insignificant. The Gators do virtually everything better than the Huskies. They defend better, they shoot the ball better from everywhere except the free throw line, which could be important.
Connecticut does rebound the ball well offensively, but Florida is such a good defensive rebounding team that it might not matter. There's a lot to like about Florida in this matchup.
Still, Connecticut's guards are very dangerous. Both make 3-pointers at a very high percentage, although they are significantly smaller than Florida's back court. DeAndre Daniels, whom you may remember from back in 2010, when John Calipari was trying to convince him to come to Lexington to play. That didn't happen, and he has really played well this year, especially in the tournament, in the combo forward position.
In a way, though, UConn sets up perfectly for Florida. All UConn's strengths are also Florida's strengths, and Florida simply has more of them, plus better size and probably better athleticism over all.
I'm saying Florida in this one, 84-75.