In the NCAA Tournament, winning is all that matters. That’s fortunate for the Gators, because their opening-round 2021 NCAA Tournament matchup against Virginia Tech was anything but pretty. But Florida held on in a game that went to overtime, scoring a 75-70 win to advance to the Round of 32.
The game probably shouldn’t have gone to overtime in the first place, as a number of mistakes from UF allowed the Hokies to tie it up. With a three-point lead, Anthony Duruji (one of the less consistent free-throw shooters on the team) chose not to pass the ball in a clear fouling situation, and he missed both of his attempts with under 10 seconds to play.
On the ensuing possession, the Gators didn’t foul despite leading by three, and that blunder allowed VT to hit a game-tying three with under two seconds to play. But Florida pulled away in overtime, and coach Mike White remains undefeated at UF in first round games.
The Gators draw 15-seeded Oral Roberts in the Round of 32, who stunned No. 2-seeded Ohio State on Friday in overtime, but before then, here are three takeaways from their close call against the Hokies.