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Final Four Tale of the Tape: Florida vs. UConn

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Which school has the best star? Which school has the better mascot? We ask the tough questions.

Final Four Tale of the Tape: Florida vs. UConn

The Final Four of a very crazy NCAA Tournament takes place this Saturday in "North Texas" (really Arlington) at Cowboys Stadium. Florida takes on UConn and Wisconsin takes on Kentucky for a trip to the National Championship. To preview the games, we'll run a Tale of the Tape for both match-ups. First, let's dissect a rematch from earlier this season: Florida vs. UConn.

Tale of the Tape

Season Records

Florida: 36-2
UConn: 30-8

Advantage: Florida

Head-To-Head Results

UConn won their meeting 65-64 on December 2 this year behind a Shabazz Napier buzzer beater.

Advantage: UConn

How They Got There

Florida took down 16 seed Albany in the second round, nine seed Pittsburgh in the third round, four seed UCLA in the Sweet 16 and 11 seed Dayton in the Elite Eight. UConn needed a comeback win in overtime to knock off 10 seed Dayton, then beat two seed Villanova, three seed Iowa State and four seed Michigan State.

Advantage: UConn

Best Player

Florida: It's difficult to identify which Gator is actually the team's top player, but if I had to pick one, it would be point guard Scottie Wilbekin. He has taken over exactly when his team has needed him all season, especially during the tournament. Wilbekin's ability to hit from the perimeter and get into the lane for tough buckets makes him an extremely difficult matchup for anyone.

UConn: Shabazz Napier (more on him in our Deeper Dive) is the man for the Huskies, and he has been all year long. He's led the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and free throw shooting all season long. His play in the tournament has helped carry them to the Final Four, and the formula isn't going to change. UConn has plenty of talent, but Napier is at the epicenter of it all, and he's one of the best epicenters in all of college basketball because of how well-rounded he is on both ends of the court.

Advantage: UConn

Supporting Cast

This is where Florida distances itself. While UConnn has the better star player, Florida comes away as the more balanced team with their ability to swap multiple players, play different lineups, and still not miss a beat. Things run almost as smoothly with freshman guard Kasey Hill as they do with Wilbeken. The team's best rebounder, Dorian Finney-Smith, acually comes off the bench. They can have five or six different leading scorers depending on which player is feeling it on any given night.

Napier has another dynamic guard with him in Ryan Boatright to cause problems. DeAndre Daniels is a terrific inside/out forward, Niels Giffey is serviceable, and freshman center Amida Brimah has really come on late for the Huskies as well. At its core, this is a team that revolves around Napier and really needs him playing well in order to succeed.

Advantage: Florida

Coach

Billy Donovan versus Kevin Ollie really isn't much of debate. Ollie is fresh to the job, but he's made a great run with the Huskies to get them to this point in the tournament. Donovan's resume speaks for itself: back-to-back national championships, four straight Elite Eight appearances from '10/'11 to this year with a Final Four thrown in there. It's no contest.

Advantage: Florida

Mascot

When you look at the matchup of a Gator and a Husky, it really isn't a tough call. One chop and that husky is done for.

Advantage: Florida

Metrics

Be it KenPom, Sagarin or any other advanced metric you want, Florida grades out ahead of the Huskies. A large part of that is due to the Gators' overall body of work, but that's to be expected when you're 36-2 on the year.

Advantage: Florida

The Pick: Florida

Taking everything into account, including revenge for one of their two losses on the year, it's hard not to take Florida with this pick. So I won't. Florida gets revenge and all their seniors get a well earned trip to the Final Four.

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