THIRD ROUND / SUNDAY
3-Florida (27-7) vs. 11-Minnesota (21-12), 5:10 p.m. (TNT)
2-Miami (28-6) vs. 7-Illinois (22-12), 7:40 p.m. (TNT)
Tickets: 1,600 upper-level seats remain, $70 apiece, at TexasSports.com, or call 471-3333 or visit the Erwin Center box office.
The Florida-Minnesota winner advances to the South Regional Sweet 16 in Arlington against the San Diego State-Florida Gulf Coast winner. … The Miami-Illinois winner goes to the East Regional in Washington D.C. against the Marquette-Butler winner.
Some fans wonder how Austin ended up with a Sunday night doubleheader on TNT. When the NCAA spread out the start times over four channels in 2011 to allow every fan to watch every game, Sunday night became part of the new TV package. It’s actually a compliment to our two matchups, showing them in prime time in one of the strongest viewing windows of the week.
Florida players were a a tad edgy on the subject of Minnesota’s toughness. “I wouldn’t say we’re not a physical team,” 6-10 forward Erik Murphy said. “They’re a Big Ten team, they’re physical. We’ve got to match that.”
The Hoops & Boots Fest starts at 11 a.m. Sunday and continues until 8:45 p.m. at Centennial Park (corner of 15th St, and Red River, across from the Erwin Center). The event is free. Big-screen TVs are in place to watch the tournament, and interactive games are available at no charge. Food and beverage options are from Austin food trailer favorites. Souvenir stands also are in the park.
Florida has recorded at least 20 victories in 15 straight seasons. Only four other schools have longer current streaks. Can you name them?
Answer: Kansas (24), Duke (17), Syracuse (16) and Gonzaga (16).
DID YOU KNOW?
Of the top four teams in the country in scoring margin, Florida (+17.9) is the only one that isn’t a No. 1 seed. Gonzaga (+17.9), Indiana (+17.5) and Louisville (+16) are the others.
Shane Larkin’s assists for Miami were the most in the four second-round games in Austin.
THE NEXT LEVEL
UCLA swing man Shabazz Muhammad is by far highest on the NBA draft boards among the eight teams assigned to Austin. DraftExpress.com has the freshman going No. 3. Muhammad scored the quietest 20 points you’ll ever see in the blowout loss to Minnesota. Florida center Patric Young is a borderline first-rounder.
Based on how they’ve played here, plus taking the season into account, the players who stand out:
Patric Young; C; Florida
Erik Murphy; F; Florida
Brandon Paul; G; Illinois
Durand Scott; G; Miami
Andre Hollins; G; Minn.
Off the bench
Trevor Mbakwe; F; Minn.
Shabazz Muhammad; F; UCLA
Andre Roberson; F; Colorado
Shane Larkin; G; Miami
Austin Hollins; G; Minn.
D.J. Richardson, G, Illinois; Kenny Kadji, F, Florida; Rodney Williams, F, Minnesota
- Kevin Lyttle, staff