2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 1 Florida vs No. 16 Albany

Florida 2014 NCAA Tournament
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

With the first game of the 2014 NCAA Tournament in the books, the No. 16 Albany Great Danes defeated the No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers 71 – 64. By winning, Albany has earned the right to face the No. 1 overall seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Florida Gators, in Orlando, Florida, on March 20th.

For Florida, it’s National Championship or bust. The Gators are clearly the best team in the country, so there is always the argument that they might overlook a lesser opponent. However, this team is full of veteran talent who are used to the spotlight. Don’t expect Billy Donovan’s squad to even break a sweat in this game.

What to Watch For

D.J. Evans went off on Mount St. Mary’s for 22 points, excelling in the high-paced atmosphere of the game. Peter Hooley also scored 20 points for the Great Danes, but neither of these players have faced a team of the same defensive caliber as Florida. Only 2 – 9 from three point range against the Mountaineers, expect Albany to rely on the three ball for most of the night as Will Yeguete and Patric Young shut down any chance of Evans’s driving ability. Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II will have a field day for Florida, as it was clear that Albany has a lot of trouble defending the three.

Prediction

Albany is a good team that was fun to watch in the First Four that most people probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to otherwise, but Florida is on another level entirely than anyone the Great Danes have faced this season. With only a twelve point loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers to highlight their regular season performance, Albany should be crushed by the Gators.

Florida 75, Albany 52

Taylor Sturm is a Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.