It might be back-to-back-to-back afterall
Posted on: March 26, 2008 11:24 am
CHARLOTTE -- You're probably not keeping up with the NIT, and for that I can't blame you. But it's worth nothing that Florida advanced to the semifinals Tuesday night with a victory at Arizona State, meaning the Gators are now just two wins away from their third straight national title.
Yes, that's a little misleading.
But the NIT is considered a "national" title.
And it's also interesting that Ohio State is on the other side of the bracket.
In other words, we could be heading towards a repeat of last year's national title game -- minus Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Daequan Cook, Ron Lewis, Ivan Harris, Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Lee Humphrey, Al Horford, Chris Richard and, of course, CBS. So it wouldn't be quite the same, I admit. But it's still difficult to argue that these two programs aren't benefitting from the experience, if only because it's allowing their young players to have additional practice time while notching victories.
For instance, had Florida not experienced the NIT it would've entered next season having to answer questions about all sorts of things, among them whether this group was capable of beating a good team on the road. But the Gators spent Tuesday night beating a good team on the road -- specifically an Arizona State team that had previously beaten five NCAA tournament participants at home, among them Stanford and Xavier. And my guess is that'll help Billy Donovan in the long run, aid his quest to return to the NCAA tournament next season.