(11) Milwaukee 60

(22-9, 12-4 Horizon)

(3) Florida 82

(29-6, 10-6 SEC)

    3:20 PM ET, March 18, 2006

    1 2 T
    #11MILW 26 3460
    #3FLA 34 4882

    Top Performers

    Milwaukee: A. Tigert 27 Pts, 8 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk

    Florida: J. Noah 17 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

    Brewer leads balanced attack as Florida routs UW-Milwaukee

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Gators downplayed every aspect of their recent struggles in the NCAA Tournament.

    They pointed to this being a different year and a different team, and vowed to get different results.

    Did they ever.

    Corey Brewer scored 23 points, Joakim Noah added 17 and the third-seeded Gators routed 11th-seeded Wisconsin-Milwaukee 82-60 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday.

    Florida advanced to the semifinals of the Minneapolis Regional -- the first time the team has escaped the opening weekend of the tourney since 2000 -- and will play either Ohio State or Georgetown on Friday.

    The last time the Gators (29-6) advanced to the round of 16, they went to the championship game before losing to Michigan State.

    They might be poised for another run.

    "You can't look forward, you can't look to the past. I'll always remember these two games, but right now we have to move on," Noah said. "We can do something even more special. And after that, we can do something even more special.

    "People might think that's greedy, but we want more. We want more."

    Led by Brewer, Noah, Al Horford and Taurean Green -- all sophomores and roommates back in Gainesville -- Florida has won two tournament games by a combined 48 points and never trailed.

    The latest victory set off a wild celebration, with hugs and high-fives shared among players, coaches and fans.

    "Everybody was really excited, but we all know what time it is," Horford said. "We all know that this is just the beginning."

    The Gators led Milwaukee (22-9) from the opening possession and dominated throughout.

    They were up 13 in the first half and opened a 15-point advantage midway through the second half with a flurry of dunks, layups and 3-pointers.

    It was arguably the best coach Billy Donovan's team has played all season. Making it even more special, it came in front of a partisan crowd at Veterans Memorial Arena, about 75 miles from the school's campus.

    The Gators ended five years of frustration in the tournament, having lost twice in openers and getting bounced three times in the second round.

    "The things that have happened in the past have already been written about and talked about," Donovan said. "I really feel bad that our guys have to listen to that because for many of them, their roles have changed from several years ago.

    "I hope people will give them credit for who they are. They've won an SEC championship, tied the school record for most wins in a season and they've made it to the Sweet 16."

    The sophomores did most of the work Saturday.

    Brewer scored almost at will on curl routes into the paint and was 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Not bad for a guy who woozily left the court in the first half.

    Noah was impressive again, dominating inside and making his teammates better. He finished with seven rebounds, six assists and four blocks.

    Horford, saddled with foul trouble most of the first half, had several touch shots down low and was 6-of-8 from the field.

    Green struggled shooting again, but made up for it by directing the offense to near perfection. He had six assists and three turnovers.

    Florida got other help, too.

    Adrian Moss, the team's lone senior, had six points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes. Lee Humphrey had an early 3-pointer that helped set the tone and played stellar defense on Boo Davis.

    Donovan had Brewer, Humphrey and others stay in constant motion in hopes of tiring Davis and leading scorer Joah Tucker on the other end. It seemingly worked.

    Davis finished with 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting. Tucker had nine points on 4-of-14 shooting.

    "They made me work hard on both ends, and I didn't get a lot of good looks," Davis said. "The confidence wasn't really there, so it was just a difficult night for me."

    Adrian Tigert carried the Panthers most of the way. He had 27 points on 11-of-13 shooting and eight rebounds. But he struggled to contain Noah, Horford and Moss.

    "We couldn't match their size," Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter said. "We tried, but we just couldn't."

    Now, the Gators hope their size advantage will carry them even further in the tournament. But Donovan didn't want too much made out of his team's newfound tournament success.

    "A lot is made of being able to get out of the weekend. But that's not why our kids are playing," he said. "'So, now you got out of the first, now it's OK to lose.' I don't look at it that way. I look at it as a great opportunity to keep moving on.

    "If for some reason we lose our next game, it's going to be just as disappointing to me. That's the way I look at it."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 60 82
    FG Made-Attempted 22-61 (.361) 30-56 (.536)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-20 (.350) 8-20 (.400)
    FT Made-Attempted 9-17 (.529) 14-19 (.737)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 19 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 24


    » Mar 18, 2006 @FLA 82, MILW 60Recap