Kyle O'Quinn is the cornerstone is the catalyst of the 15th-seeded Norfolk State Spartans (26-9). That's the potential cinderella that surprised 2nd seeded Missouri in the NCAA tournament O'Quinn said after the jublaincy that the Spartans 'messed up a lot of folks' brackets' and, he jokingly added, even his own. They've captured the imagination of the nation, and its going to be interesting if O'Quinn and Norfolk State can do it again Sunday against the tournament-tested Florida Gators (24-10).
The Gators, who beat Virginia 71-45 on Friday, have seen this story before and know Norfolk State is going to have a home-court advantage at the CenturyLink Center. Florida will be another tough test for the Spartans as the Gators have developed into one of the top programs in the country under head coach Billy Donovan. Norfolk State will look to slow down the Gators prized backcourt of Kenny Boynton, Bradley Beal, and Erving Walker. Quinn will attempt to follow up his monster 26 point, 14 rebound performance against Missouri with another dominant game on the interior. Despite dominating Virginia th a clear advantage in tempo with better looks and more opportunities, the Gators are going to have to almost certainly improve on their 3/24 from beyond the arc.
If Florida can speed up the game and make more open looks from long range than in game 1, Quinn and company are going to need an equally impressive offensive effort just to stay close. Missouri averages nearly 81 ppg, and the Spartans were able to go toe to toe down to the wire. Florida is right around 75 ppg, and could have really blown the doors open against Virginia. This game should soar over the total especially if Florida opens things up in the second half. GL