By defeating Albany in Orlando on Thursday, Patric Young, Scottie Wilbekin, Will Yeguete and Casey Prather became the first Florida players to win at least one NCAA tournament game in each of their four seasons at the school.
Getting deep into the tournament is the next challenge and it brings an accumulation of individual honors. Young’s 80 rebounds, for instance, rank third in Florida’s NCAA Tournament history. He won’t get close to Al Horford (137) and Joakim Noah (116) by the end of this tournament, but those two NBA first-round draft picks are the only ones ahead of him.
Also, Florida’s senior class has been a part of 117 wins together. One more victory and they’ll break the record now shared with Walter Hodge, a member of the 2006 and 2007 national title teams and a Gator senior in 2009.
First season in ACC: Pittsburgh finished fifth in the ACC standings with an 11-7 record in the Panther's first season as a member of the conference. While he would have liked to finish higher, coach Jamie Dixon emphasizes how well his team played on the road in some of the toughest environments in America.
“We wish we had won some of those close games,” said Dixon, who previously coached Pitt to three Big East championships, two in the regular season and one in the conference tournament. “But we did some good things, going 7-2 on the road in the ACC, so I think that spoke volumes about what we were and what we could do once we got into neutral-court games in the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament.”
Noteworthy: Florida is 22-12 against ACC teams under Donovan. The Gators haven't played Pitt, however, since a 77-74 win in the 1992 NIT, when Lon Kruger was coach. All-time, the Panthers are 2-4 against Florida, including an odd back-to-back matchup at Pitt on Dec. 28-29, 1948. Pitt won both games.