2013 NCAA Tournament: Bench Play Key to Florida Gators Making the Final Four

By Taylor Sturm
Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators were hands down the best team in the SEC this season despite losing in the SEC tournament championship game to the Ole Miss Rebels due to the heroics of Marshall Henderson. Every single win for Billy Donovan’s team has been by at least by 10 points. The Gators either blow a team out, or they lose a close game. Florida needs to be in top form, and their bench play will be key in how far they can go in this NCAA Tournament.

The Gators have to play at their best every game of the NCAA Tournament. They are not going to play teams like the Northwestern State Demons anymore; the rest of the tournament games are going to be hard fought against talented opposition. Bench players will be essential from the Sweet Sixteen onward. Casey Prather, Will Yeguete and Michael Frazier II didn’t aid Florida much in the 32-point win over the Demons or the win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Prather, Yeguete and Frazier all have to step up their game if the Gators want to keep winning. Florida’s starters are going to get tired; the NCAA Tournament is long. Key minutes from these players could be the key to winning in close games – something that the Gators have not done all season.

Florida faces the No. 15 seeded Florida Gulf Coast Eagles in the Sweet Sixteen and, with a win, will face either the No. 1 seeded Kansas Jayhawks or the No. 4 seeded Michigan Wolverines. Both of these teams are much better than any opponent that the Gators have had to face so far.  Florida’s bench must start playing better now.

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