ORLANDO, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Don’t tell top-seeded Florida that its NCAA tournament opener should be a lopsided laugher.
The Gators don’t want to hear it after eking out back-to-back, grind-it-out games against Tennessee and Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference tournament.
So forget the 26-game winning streak. Disregard being 21½-point favorites against 16th-seeded Albany. Coach Billy Donovan has gotten in his players ears, and they listened.
“Coach D does a good job reminding us that no matter what the rankings are every year, there are upsets,” guard Scottie Wilbekin said. “So it really doesn’t matter once the ball goes up. Anything can happen. Anybody can beat anybody, so we’ve got to be on our toes.”
Anything can happen? Albany guard Peter Hooley would agree.
“We know that all of us are going to be prepared well and we’re going to be staying together,” Hooley said, “and really believe that anything can happen.”