Saturday, March 29, 2014

Other Gators (not the one in Maine) are in the NCAA basketball Final Four!

The Final Four!  The Florida Gators are now officially in the Final Four after a 62 to 52 win over the Cinderella team, the Dayton Flyers.  They have until next Saturday to get ready for Connecticut, the 60-54 winner of today's game between Connecticut and Michigan State.  Connecticut handed the Gators one of their two losses during the season.  It's been a few years, but this is not the first trip to the NCAA Basketball Final Four for Florida.  They have been there five times, four of them with two championships under present coach Billy Donovan in his four tries.  The Gators' last national championship was in 2007.

Wisconsin eliminated Arizona in the other divisional final yesterday and await the outcome of today's Kentucky-Michigan game to see who they will mean it the Final Four next weekend.  Now we know, Kentucky held off Michigan 75-72 for the fourth spot.

Next Saturday, The #1 seeded Gators will play Connecticut and Kentucky will take on Wisconsin in the National semi-finals.  The Championship game will be April 7th.  Florida has a tough row to hoe to win.  As I said earlier, Connecticut is one of only two teams to own a win over the Gators this year and as we've seen twice this year, Kentucky drives Florida right to the brink.  And history shows the Wildcats have literally owned the Gators.  It'll be an interesting Final Four beginning next weekend.

Of course, the women's tourney is in its Sweet Sixteen competition, too.  (The winners of the four Elite Eight games become the Final Four.)  One super game to be watching could be undefeated Notre Dame against Baylor.  Naturally, everyone will be watching for the expected clash between Notre Dame and Connecticut, also undefeated so far.  The last four Sweet Sixteen games will be played today.  In today's completed games, Maryland ousted #1 Tennessee while Louisville has eliminated LSU.  Stanford whipped Penn State.  And in the battles of the Carolinas, North sent South home for the year.

The women's tourney continues Monday night.

Along with a bunch of potentially great basketball games today, there's a road race on the schedule that has my interest.  Although I prefer NASCAR races, the IndyCar, Formula One racers, begins today on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.  St. Pete is my old stomping grounds when I wasn't in Gainesville when I lived in Florida.  I like to watch at least part of this race on the Telly to see if I can pick out familiar places.  To be honest, the city has changed so much in the half century since I lived there, I recognize about nothing.  Nevertheless, it's fun trying.  The race, incidentally, for anyone interested, will be at 3:30 this afternoon on ABC.

The weather here in Southern Maine is just plain rotten this Sunday.  Rain here on the coast possibly changing to some ice really late, mix precipitation in the central part of the state, and snow up north.  One to five inches of rain is forecast before it pulls out of the region tomorrow.  Reading the weather forecasts today will make my Fearless Friend think just a smidgeon more about heading back from Florida next week.

Enjoy your Sunday.  And, of course, GO GATORS!