Found March 30, 2013 on Fox Sports Florida:
ARLINGTON, Texas -- They don't have a T-shirt with caricatures in their honor plastered across the front or even a nickname. As a collective group, this trio is more substance than flash. Reserves Will Yeguete, Michael Frazier and Casey Prather are critical to Florida's success but they garnered little attention leading into Friday night's showdown with Florida Gulf Coast in the Sweet 16. Dunk City owned the headlines. That may be true, but the Gators' bench helped slam the door in Cinderella's face in Florida's 62-50 win over the Eagles. Prather scored 11 points, grabbed four rebounds and performed his own version of Dunk City with a breakaway slam in the first half. Yeguete, looking more like his self by the minute after a midseason knee injury, had two points, two blocks, four steals and four rebounds, while Frazier scored six points on back-to-back 3-pointers. The trio played a pivotal role in a 16-0 Gators run that turned a 24-14 deficit into a 30-26 halftime lead, quieting the mostly pro-FGCU crowd of more than 40,000 at Cowboys Stadium. "Casey had an unbelievable game,'' Yeguete said. "Overall, I think we did a good job of staying in the game ... they made a run and we needed a boost from the bench and we gave them that with some energy." The Gators needed everything the bench provided on the way to a school-record third consecutive trip to the Elite Eight. Florida faces Michigan on Sunday afternoon for a berth in the Final Four. FGCU came out dunking, hitting 3-pointers and basically doing whatever it wanted early, jumping to a 15-4 lead to set off the upset alarm early with an 11-0 run. The Gators needed a boost and Prather provided one with a rim-rattling dunk when Yeguete rebounded a miss by FGCU's Sherwood Brown, found Prather in transition and watched as Prather did the rest. The play seemed to wake up the Gators. Still, Florida trailed by 10 when Frazier nailed his first 3-pointer to trim the Eagles' lead to 24-17. Next possession, Frazier drained another 3-pointer. Prather followed with a layup and point guard Scottie Wilbekin tied the game 24-24 with a jumper. The Gators took their first lead (27-24) on Mike Rosario's 3-pointer with 1:41 remaining before halftime. The Gators stormed back using primarily a smaller lineup with the athletic Prather the catalyst. "We basically get back into the game,'' Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "Casey getting a run-out dunk, Frazier knocks down a couple of 3s, we go on a mini run. It would have been hard to get back into the game in the first half if we allowed them to score." Prather offered a good reason as to why Florida's bench played with such inspiration after watching FGCU control the game early. "We wanted to come out and play with energy and help our team win,'' he said. "I think we did a great job of doing it. We made up our mind that we didn't want to leave." Instead, Florida's bench paved the way for the Gators to continue a deeper into March Madness. The Gators' bench outscored FGCU's 19-12, including 13-7 in the momentum-swinging first half. Frazier, in only his third NCAA tournament game, didn't back off the pedal after missing his first 3-point attempt. He knew the Gators needed a lift or they could be going home earlier than planned. "We need different people to step up on different nights,'' Frazier said. "Anything we can use. It's a one-game tournament. At a certain time, someone has to step up." All three of Florida's reserves did Friday.

Rosario goes off the back for crafty play

It turns out that FGCU isn’t the only school in Florida capable of highlight-reel plays. In fact, against Florida Gulf Coast, the Florida Gators reclaimed their dominance of the Sunshine State, and did so in style. In the last few minutes of the game, point guard Mike Rosario had a streetball-ish inbound pass off the back of an Eagles defender which he then turned into a vicious...

Florida Gators brings the curtain down on Florida Gulf Coast’s miracle run

ARLINGTON, Texas, March 30 –The clock struck midnight and the story of Florida Gulf Coast is no more. The kids from Dunk City spent the week tempting fate with bold proclamations and a student body prone to obscene pep rallies. It was too much inspiration to feed a better Florida Gators team with stronger players and superior coaching. Please click here to read this story....

Florida powers past Cinderella FGCU

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mike Rosario had 15 points and Florida is going to an NCAA regional final for the third year in a row after a 62-50 victory over Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 15 seed whose improbable tournament journey ended just before midnight Friday. Florida Gulf Coast, the high-flying team from "Dunk City" few people knew before this NCAA tourney, jumped out to an...

Caption This Photo: FGCU Player and Florida Gator Cheerleader Together Pregame

Florida Gulf Coast University tried its best to weather the storm of the Florida Gators, but when the clock stroked 12 Cinderella didn’t have a chance as the Florida Gators went on to win earning themselves an Elite Eight spot. Although the game was grand, it’s what happened before the game that has some loyal fans puzzled. FGCU guard Sherwood Brown and a Gators cheerleader can...

Florida Gulf Coast's Cinderella ride ends

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Early on, it looked like the guys from Dunk City could really do it. Florida Gulf Coast, the first-ever No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, broke out to a 15-4 lead over Florida in Friday's South Region semifinal. Then Florida Gulf Coast hit a wall. Cinderella turned back into a pumpkin and Florida coasted to a 62-50 win at Cowboys Stadium. Florida...

Florida sends Florida Gulf Coast home

SEC champion Florida is going to its third straight NCAA regional final, while the improbable tournament journey for Florida Gulf Coast is over. The Eagles, the No. 15 seed few people even knew of on Selection Sunday, had their season ended just before midnight Friday with a 62-50 loss to one of the big schools from Florida. The high-flying team from ''Dunk City''...

Gators QB Jeff Driskel Needs to Watch his Tweets

A lot of college teams have banned their players from Twitter and with good reason. Too many kids tend to tweet without thinking (or while drinking) and fail to realize that there are thousands of people watching their every tweet. Any and every misstep is caught, retweeted, and used as fodder for late night jokes and bloggers everywhere. So it is easy to see why coaches...

Florida ends FGCU's dream, moves to Elite 8

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- SEC champion Florida is going to its third straight NCAA regional final, while the improbable tournament journey for Florida Gulf Coast is over. The Eagles, the No. 15 seed few people even knew of on Selection Sunday, had their season ended just before midnight Friday with a 62-50 loss to one of the big schools from Florida. The high-flying team from "...

March Madness Update: Florida Gulf Coast Gets Slipper Crushed by Florida

Underdogs are fun to cheer for. We all like them. It's the idea that anyone can win on any given day that really appeals to us. We want to believe that it is not necessary to go to a big school or have a rich program to win. We want to believe that anyone can. But sometimes it is the powerhouse that wins. Everyone wanted FGCU to win and continue to make history...

Florida Gators appearance on the Today Show

FGCU should take note of what a proper/classy pep rally looks like. Not a single rap video or expletive uttered. Go Gators! Beat FGCU!…

Gift wrapped: Easiest Final Four paths in NCAA history

Last week I wrote about the numerous easy brackets the Florida Gators have lucked into over the past few years. Now I'm interested in a more historical perspective. Which teams have had the easiest paths in NCAA history? To win this tournament you need some skill and some luck. All you can do is play the teams that lay in front of you, but if you're lucky then you avoid...

Gators getting boat raced in North Texas

Michigan is scoring at will agains what is arguably a top-3 defense in the Florida Gators.  

Donovan and Starting FiveTalk Michigan

The Florida Gators are in familiar territory having been in the Elite-9 of the NCAA Basketball Tournament for the previous two years. The Gators are hoping to break a string of losses at this point and punch their ticket to the Final Four. Now the foe is Big-10 stalwart Michigan. The Gators have their hands fulll and they talk about it here.

Florida shuts out Ole Miss to clinch series

Metal clinked behind coach Kevin O’Sullivan as spoke with frustration and hope during Thursday’s batting practice. “It will turn at some point,” he said. At some point, it’ll all fall together: at-bats, solid starts on the mound, the elimination of small mistakes. Well this weekend, it turned. The Gators posted back-to-back shutouts against the Rebels for their first SEC...
Gators News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.