Mar 29, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Florida Gators center Patric Young addresses the media after defeating the Dayton Flyers in the finals of the south regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship tournament at FedEx Forum. Florida won 62-52. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Gators Bait & Bits: Basketball and Final Four Edition

Welcome to Bait & Bits, a series on Hail Florida Hail that will feature one “bait” about an opposing school and some bits about the Florida Gators. Have any links that you want on Bait & Bits? Tweet it at us @HailFloridaHail or @BrettKaplan13 or email it to us at [email protected].

Bait

UConn Huskies. We all know what happened earlier this year when Florida played UConn on the hardwood. But the Gators and Huskies have played one time before that. In the 1994 NCAA Tournament, they squared off against each other in the Sweet 16. Lon Kruger was Florida’s head coach and Hall-of-Famer Jim Calhoun was at the helm for Connecticut. The Gators beat the Huskies in that Sweet 16 matchup and continued on to the Final Four. Now Florida has a chance to go 2-0 against UConn in the NCAA Tournament and avenge their earlier season loss as their quest to cut down the nets continues.

Bits

Patric Young Named Big Man of the Year. It’s been a  pretty good year for Patric Young. He’s had a ton of accolades and now he has one more. The National Association of Basketball Writers named Young their Pete Newell Big Man of the Year.  The award was created to honor the top low-post player each season. Past winners include Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, Greg Oden, and Glen Davis. (GatorZone)

Young Named Senior CLASS All-American. Young has been a force on and off the court. And his efforts were rewarded by being named a Senior CLASS All-American. This honor measures a player in four areas: community, classroom, character, and competition. Young has received many honors for his work on the court, and now his 3.37 GPA and work throughout the Gainesville community is being honored. He and Will Yeguete have also formed a special relationship with Kaedyn Ballew, a three-year old battling leukemia. (GatorZone)

Final Four Through Social Media. This is a really cool montage of social media statuses and photos. And it centers on the Gators. (Scott Carter, GatorZone)

Orange Bowl Classic Set. Even with Florida still playing in the NCAA Tournament, the Gators are still finalizing next year. The 2014 Orange Bow Classic in Sunrise, FL will take place Saturday December 20. The four teams involved are Florida, Florida State, South Florida, and Wake Forest. The Gators will face the Demon Deacons, a team coming off of a 17-16 season. Wake Forest just  hired Danny Manning from Tulsa, who made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. Florida holds a 6-5 advantage over Wake Forest, with the last meeting coming in 2005 at Madison Square Garden. That win propelled the Gators to a 17-0 start and the 2006 national title.

Weekend Schedule. It’s another busy weekend with the basketball and gymnastics teams competing in the NCAA Tournament:

Friday
Track & Field Pepsi Florida Relays
3:00pm 15 Men’s Tennis @ 16 Mississippi State
6:00pm 7 Women’s Tennis @  Mississippi State
6:00pm 6 Softball vs 19 Auburn
6:30pm 13 Baseball @ 22 Kentucky

Saturday
Track & Field Pepsi Florida Relays
12:00pm 4 Lacrosse @ 9 Johns Hopkins
1:00pm 13  Baseball @ 22 Kentucky
4:00pm Gymnastics @ NCAA University Park Regional (University Park, PA)
5:00pm 6 Softball vs 7 Auburn
6:00pm Men’s Basketball vs Connecticut (Final Four in North Texas)

Sunday
11:00am 7 Women’s Tennis @ 24 Ole Miss
12:00pm 13 Baseball @ 22 Kentucky
1:00pm 15 Men’s Tennis vs Ole Miss
1:00pm 6 Softball vs 19 Auburn

For more on the Gators make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@HailFloridaHail and @BrettKaplan13).

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Tags: Basketball Final Four Florida Gators NCAA Tournament Patric Young

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