Florida finally got past a regional final for the first time in the past four years and Wisconsin won a thriller in overtime as the two teams became the first two into the 2014 Final Four. Michigan State plays Connecticut and Michigan battles Kentucky on Sunday for the other two slots.
The Gators used a 15-1 run at the end of the first half to open up a 14-point lead at the half, 38-24. Senior Scottie Wilbeking scored 23 points to lead Florida, now 36-2. The Gators have won 30 in a row and the 36 wins are a school record, one more than the national championship team of 2007.
Dyshawn Pierre led Dayton (26-11) with 18 points. The Flyers, who finished fifth in the Atlantic 10 regular season, were trying to become the just the fourth No. 11 seed to make a Final Four.
Patric Young added 12 points for Florida while Michael Frazier II had 10. Devin Oliver was the only other Flyer player in double figures with 12 points.
Florida will face the South Regional champion, Wisconsin, which defeated No. 1 seed Arizona, 64-63, in overtime. It was a record seventh overtime game in this year’s tourney.
The Badgers were led by 7-footer Frank Kaminsky, who did it all. He scored from inside, outside, and everywhere in between. The junior had 28 points and 11 rebounds carrying Wisconsin into the Final Four. It will be head coach Bo Ryan’s first appearance and the school’s first since 2000.
The game was tight so close, in fact, that neither team led by more than three points through the entire second half and overtime. Nick Johnson who had a chance to win the game with the last shot in overtime, led the Wildcats with 16 points. Teammate Kaleb Tarczewski added 12 points and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 10 off the bench.
Kaminsky picked a good night to get hot as the rest of the Badgers had off nights. Traevon Jackson was the only other Wisconsin player in double figures with 10 points.