LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — While Florida’s early-season success was maybe lacking a marquee win to bolster the team’s national perception, the Gators helped themselves in that regard with their 81-76 win over Seton Hall on Thursday night.
The Gators showed poise down the stretch to close out the win over a previously-unbeaten Pirates team that won the Big East last season that should be in the hunt for the NCAA tournament again.
That win for Florida (5-0) opened its stay in the AdvoCare Invitational and advanced it to a winners’ bracket matchup Friday night with No. 11 Gonzaga (4-0), where the Gators will really have a chance to make an impression nationally.
What time is tip-off?
When: 9:30 p.m. Friday
Where: HP Field House, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
What TV channel is showing the Florida-Gonzaga game?
ESPN2 is broadcasting the game and it can be streamed online via WatchESPN.
Who is calling the Florida basketball game?
Mike Morgan is handling the play-by-play, Dick Vitale is the analyst and Andy Katz is the in-game reporter.
Looking at Gonzaga
The No. 11 Bulldogs come in 4-0 after picking up an 82-62 win over Quinnipiac in their tournament opener Thursday night.
They went 28-8 last season while reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament, but return just one starter in point guard Josh Perkins.
They look to have filled the voids just fine, though, winning their first four games this season by an average margin of 25.8 points against Utah Valley, San Diego State, Bryant and Quinnipiac.
That said, as it is for Florida, this will be Gonzaga’s biggest test yet.
The Bulldogs have six players averaging in double figures offensively through the early going, led by 7-foot- freshman forward Zach Collins (13.8 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game) and 7-foot-1 redshirt senior center Przemek Kanowski (13.0/7.3).
Coach Mark Few is 470-111 in his 18th season at Gonzaga.
“I saw Gonzaga play this year about five minutes and that was live here the second half. That was it,” Florida coach Mike White said. “I guess off first glance I know that big fella is extremely skilled. I was really impressed with his passing ability. I like the size and girth of their guards. They seem like good passers as well. You know, Coach Few’s had an unbelievable run, of course. Defensively, year in and year out, they’re incredible. I guess we’ll have to a terrific job on the interior defensively.”