Florida Basketball loses distinction it held since 2007

The Gators had been the last team to go back-to-back in the NCAA Tournament
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

When Florida Basketball won the national title in 2007, it became the first team since Duke in 1991 and 1992 to win back-to-back national championships in men's basketball. And prior to Duke, no team had gone back-to-back since the John Wooden led UCLA dynasty of the 60s and 70s.

So it was a badge of honor the Gators got to wear for 16 seasons as the last team to repeat as champions. But all good things must come to and end and UConn now holds the title as last team to go back-to-back.

Florida Basketball: Play It Again

The parallels for Florida and UConn are different in their set up, but similar in their end game execution. Heading into the 2006-07 season, Florida brought back almost its entire roster from the 2005-06 team, including leading scorers Joakim Noah and Taurean Green. UConn meanwhile had its two leading scorers from the 2022-23 squad, Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins, depart for the NBA and were forced to retool their roster this season.

The similarities for both squads though is that neither were really challenged in either of their NCAA Tournament runs. In their 2006 run, Florida only had one game finish with a single digit margin of victory and finished the tournament with an average margin of victory of 16 points, the 5th most in tournament history.

The Gators were pushed a little more in their 2007 run, with three games finishing in single digits, but the average margin of victory of 15.8 points is the 6th most in history.

UConn made those numbers look like child's play as the Huskies didn't have a single game during either run finish within single digits. Their average margin of victory during this 2024 run of 23.3 points is the most in tournament history.

But if Florida is still looking for a one up on UConn, the Gators are the only team since 1973 to win both their conference tournament and the national title in back-to-back seasons.