Vegas Odds: BYU by 5
Why Florida will win:
While many think Florida should be in the NIT (and not even a #1 seed there), the Gators have shown the ability to win big games at times.. and more impressively, compete on the road. They knocked off Michigan St on a neutral court, Ole Miss & NC State on the road, and played Tennessee to within a point in Knoxville.
Gator to Watch:
Erving Walker, G - 13 ppg, 5 apg, 3 rpg
When Walker's at his best, Florida's at his best. In losing 4 of 5 to close the year (a slide which should have kept Florida out of the Dance), Walker shot just 25% from the floor. That's not going to cut it.
Why BYU will win:
Impressively, BYU didn't lose to a team ranked worse then 48th all year.. and Florida is 56th so they're good there. BYU is known for pushing the tempo, and they make the most of their many chances with an offense that's Top 10 in offensive efficiency.
Cougar to Watch:
Tyler Haws, F - 11 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 apg
Haws is one of the better freshmen in the country. BYU hasn't lost a game when Haws scores 10 or more points. He missed the Cougars MWC tournament loss to UNLV with an injury, but he'll be back for the Dance.
How it will go down:
Florida usually scores in the 60's, and have only hit 80 once since early December. You know BYU will try and push the tempo and play their usual game, so unless Walker or Kenny Boynton get hot from three, Florida won't have the firepower to keep pace.
Betting Pick: BYU
Real Pick: BYU