Norfolk State Basketball

Norfolk State vs. Florida: 5 Reasons Why Spartans Memorable Run Ends Sunday

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 16:  Kyle O'Quinn #10 (R) of the Norfolk State Spartans celebrates with his teammates on the bench late in the second half against the Missouri Tigers during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 16, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images
Justin WeltonAnalyst IIMarch 18, 2012

Norfolk State pulled off one of the memorable upsets in NCAA Tournament history when they defeated Missouri 86-84 on Friday. That's the last memorable moment they will produce from the 2012 NCAA Tournament, however.

Norfolk State's run will end against Florida in the Round of 32 on Sunday. Here's why:

 

It's Already a Successful Tournament for Norfolk State

Norfolk State's star player Kyle O'Quinn even admitted that beating Missouri was "overtime" after he told his coaches he would deliver a championship in conference.

He also admitted that this upset of No. 2 was highly unlikely. He's just speaking the truth but he's right—he was working overtime.

It seems like no matter what happens against Florida, the Spartans already had a successful tournament.

Florida, meanwhile, is out to win a championship.

 

Shooting Percentage

Norfolk State was an awful offensive team in 2011-12. They were 149th in points per game with 69 per game and 132nd in field goal percentage at 44.3 percent. They scored 86 points on 54.2 percent and 52.6 percent from beyond the arc.

There is a high probability that the Spartans come down to earth.

 

We Know about the Spartans Now

Maybe two percent of brackets across the world picked Norfolk State to upset Missouri. Few knew that they had players capable of pulling it off. Now everybody knows, especially Florida.

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 16:  Kyle O'Quinn #10 and Brandon Wheeless #24 of the Norfolk State Spartans celebrate after they won 86-84 against the Missouri Tigers during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 1
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Florida understands what they're going up against on Sunday. They will be ready.

 

Florida is More Well-Rounded than Missouri

Missouri might have defeated Florida in the third round had that been the matchup, but I would have given the Seminoles a great shot of pulling off the upset. 

Florida scores 76.3 points per game and holds teams to 65.4 points per game. Defensively is where the Spartans will see the biggest difference. Florida is the second-best defensive team in the SEC in terms of points allowed.

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 16:  Head coach Billy Donovan of the Florida Gators supports his team against the Virginia Cavaliers during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 16, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska.  (Photo
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker, Bradley Beal, Patric Young and others have enough talent to overcome their size mismatches.

 

You Can Trust Billy Donovan

Frank Haith is a great coach, but he's no Billy Donovan. Haith was in his first year as head coach of Missouri, and he's only made one previous NCAA Tournament.

Donovan has won two national championships, made three Final Fours and has won more than 400 games as a coach.

He'll have something prepared to throw Norfolk State off their rhythm.

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