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Florida's balance overwhelms UCLA

3/28/2014

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Scottie Wilbekin couldn't find his shot. Patric Young was out of rhythm, off-kilter, a half-step slow on rebounds and rotations. Casey Prather was unusually muted.

There were eight minutes left in Florida's fourth straight Sweet 16 game, and the Gators' three best players -- the 2013-14 SEC player of the year, a center with 147 games and 3,555 minutes on his legs, and its leading scorer and surprise All-American candidate, respectively -- were flailing. Young and Prather had each picked up their fourth fouls, and were stuck on the bench. Wilbekin was 2-of-10 from the field.

Worse yet, UCLA was rolling. Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson were pushing the pace, getting easy buckets, finding open teammates, playing the same beautiful brand of offense that led UCLA to its 28 wins in Steve Alford's first season. With six minutes left, Florida's lead was cut to 3.

So Prather -- chugging through an off night, stuck watching from the sideline, eight minutes away from maybe ending his career -- must have been at least a little bit panicked.

"No," Prather said. "Not at all."

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