Florida 85, Oregon 77
Sunday, March 25th 2007, 4:22 pm
By: News On 6
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Inside, outside, early, late. It doesn't matter how Florida does it.
At tournament time, nobody's better than the Gators.
Joakim Noah and his buddies are heading back to the Final Four, looking for a second straight national championship that was worth more to them than NBA millions.
Lee Humphrey made seven 3-pointers and finished with 23 points, and Taurean Green added 21 to lead the Gators to an 85-77 victory over 3rd-seeded Oregon in the Midwest Regional final Sunday afternoon. It was their 16th straight postseason victory, a stretch that includes one national championship and two Southeastern Conference titles.
Next stop for the top-seeded Gators: Atlanta, where they'll play UCLA in the national semifinals in a rematch of last year's championship game.
Florida won that one in a rout, 73-57, for its first national championship -- and the 1st half of what would turn out to be the Gator Slam. When Florida beat Ohio State for the national football title in January, the Gators became the first school to be champs in both sports at the same time.
Now Florida (33-5) would like to win both crowns in the same calendar year. And make a little history as the first team since Duke in 1991-92 to win back-to-back basketball titles -- and the first ever to do it with the same five starters.
Oregon was trying to get to the Final Four for the first time since winning it all in 1939, the first year of the NCAA tournament. But the Ducks (29-8) were done in by foul trouble the entire game and Tajuan Porter going cold.
Porter, the 5â€™6 guard who went off for eight 3s and 33 points in Friday night's regional semifinal, didn't make his first field goal until there were 40 seconds left in the game. He finished with 10 points but was just 2-12 from the field.
Aaron Brooks led Oregon with 27 points, and Malik Hairston added 18 and 5 rebounds before fouling out with 3:54 to play.