Gators, Huskies, Wildcats and Badgers all headed to Texas

NCAA Tournament Final Four (clockwise from upper left): Kentucky, Florida, UConn and Wisconsin. (McClatchy-Tribune )

NCAA Tournament Final Four (clockwise from upper left): Kentucky, Florida, UConn and Wisconsin. (McClatchy-Tribune )

For an NCAA tournament that has turned most brackets into confetti, it makes sense that this Final Four is mostly a collection of teams that elicit one question.

How did they get here?

This preview of the Final Four from our friends at the Chicago Tribune.

The Gators (36-2) are the only No. 1 seed left in the tournament, after Wichita State, Arizona and Virginia wilted. They had lost the previous three seasons in the Elite Eight.

“Coach Donovan just started telling us that we’ve got to lay down the foundation,” said senior center Patric Young. “Everything that’s happened in the past is nothing, no bearing on who we are going to be this year. In order to get where we want to get to, the end goal, we have to continue to chase greatness every single day and stay in the moment.”

The Gators’ two losses this season were against Final Four teams — to Wisconsin on Nov. 12 and Connecticut on Dec. 2.

Since then they’ve won 30 straight games.

The balanced and defensive-minded Gators took an interesting path in the topsy-turvy tournament, knocking off No. 9 seed Pittsburgh, No. 4 seed UCLA and No. 11 seed Dayton to face the seventh-seeded Huskies in Texas.

“It’s really, really hard to get to this point because every step along the way that you advance, you’re playing against better teams that are playing just as well, if not better than you,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “But we got a chance to do it in 2000, ’06, ’07 and here in ’14. So it’s been nice.”

Only one thing would make it nicer. MORE …

 

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