The Florida Gators are locked in as the No. 7 seed in the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. As people fill out their brackets for March Madness, it will be rare for anyone to pick the Gators to win it all. However, crazier things have happened in the tournament, so could the Gators win it all? That answer is simple, yes, and if they do, it will be because sophomore guard Tre Mann was the man for Florida.
The 2020-2021 1st-team All-SEC star has been playing his best basketball as of late. Mann has scored 19+ points in eight games this season, but he has done it in his five games to end the year. He started with a 19-point effort against Auburn. Then Mann added 21 against both Kentucky and Missouri. He continued to improve, scoring 22 against Vanderbilt and then added a career-high 30 in his last game against Tennessee.
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Mann has been getting hot at the right time, and that is what usually happens when a team is ready to make a run in the NCAA Tournament. The Gators should get through the first game of the tournament against No. 10 seed Virginia Tech without a problem, but it will be Round 2 where they have their biggest test.
Florida will likely play No. 2 seed Ohio State and will be tested immensely right away. If the Gators can find some magic against Ohio State, there is no telling what the rest of March Madness will look like for them.
However, if they will even have a chance in any game, it will be because Mann keeps up his elite play. Mann has averaged 16 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, 3.4 assists per game, and 1.5 steals per game this season.
The Gators and head coach Mike White need to lean on Mann and let him take the team as far as possible because the Gators will only go as far as Mann will take them.
It would be an accomplishment to see the Gators make it to the Final Four, but if they can make it to the championship game and win it, Mann will be remembered forever as the Gators legend who led them there. So, Mann truly has to be the man if the Gators have any shot of accomplishing their ultimate goal.