Sweet 16 Bracket & Picks, Southeast Regional: Florida Gators vs. BYU Cougars

The first matchup of the 2011 NCAA basketball tournament was set up after Florida squeaked by UCLA and BYU blitzed Gonzaga to oblivion on Saturday. This is a rematch of last year's first round incredible double overtime matchup, which BYU won 99-92 (where Jimmer Freddette scored 37 points). Let's take an early look at the two teams who will be fighting for the right to advance to the Elite 8.

#2 Florida Gators

Ken Pomeroy says ... Pretty great offense and pretty good defense that plays at a very slow tempo; great two point offense and good three point offense to go along with solid three point defense. Good at forcing jump shots and keeping teams off the line. Florida gets a lot of rebounds (particularly offensive boards).

The weaknesses for Florida are they don't get to the free throw line and they don't shoot free throws very well then they get there (which could or could not be a weakness if you think about it further). They are a pretty good jump shooting team, but if they're in a close game late, this could be an Achilles heel.

#3 BYU Cougars

Ken Pomeroy says ... Excellent offense and pretty good defense that plays an up-pace tempo (23rd fastest in the country); They're an efficient shooting offense and defense as they can score and defend both threes and twos fairly well (not great at either, but plenty good). Great at holding onto the ball. Excellent free throw shooting team. Solid at defensive rebounding and forcing other teams into taking jump shots.

The weakness for BYU is their over-reliance on Fredette in terms of possessions used. He might be one of the best players in the country, but if a team can lock him down defensively, they could be in trouble. It could very well come here. Also they're not that great at offensive rebounding.


Early prediction: Florida.
Given that it's a rematch, the Gators probably will have better answers for the Cougars this time around. BYU managed to get by running it up against a Gonzaga team that never slowed down the pace in Denver, but they will have to get down and dirty in New Orleans, and this should be where their road ends.

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