TALE OF THE TAPE

Round Of 16 Matchup: #1 Florida Vs. #4 UCLA

#1 Florida
#4 UCLA
(credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
(credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Coaching
Winner Billy Donovan and his Florida Gators have not lost a game since Dec. 2. In his 18-year career at Florida, Donovan has won two NCAA championships and has made it to the Elite Eight in each of the past three seasons. Making it back this year is expected.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Steve Alford is in his first season as the head coach at UCLA, after a successful stint at New Mexico. He has his Bruins in the Sweet 16 after back-to-back March Madness appearances with the Lobos. He has really helped turn things around at UCLA, but he might be overmatched here.
Offense
Despite being the overall No. 1 seed, Florida only ranks 181st in the nation in offensive points scored. After barely doing what they needed to beat Albany in their first game, they looked a bit better in manhandling Pittsburgh, but it was not the offense that was on display here. Only two players scored in double digits in the Panthers win, with Scottie Wilbekin leading the way with 21.
Winner The Bruins are the complete opposite of the Gators. While Florida uses a strong defense to make up for a lack of scoring, UCLA has a powerful offense that needs to outscore their opponents to win. Ranked 12th in the nation and led by Jordan Adams (40 points in the first two games), these Bruins can score a lot of points, fast.
Defense
Winner The reason the Gators are ranked so high is because of their defense, which is ranked third best in the nation (57.5). After letting Albany score 55 against them, they shut down Pittsburgh, only allowing the Panthers to put up 45 points on 37.3 percent shooting. The Gators out-rebounded Pitt, 38-31, and finished that game with 10 steals.
While UCLA has a great offense that can put up a lot of points, their defense ranks 178th in the nation. The first two Bruins wins were by blowouts, but Tulsa and SF Austin are not teams to really stack against in the March Madness tournament. They did hold the two teams to 37 percent shooting with Kyle Anderson pulling down 13 defensive rebounds, but they will have to do a lot more against the Gators offense.
Bench Depth
The Gators only used three bench players against Pittsburgh, but both averaged over 20 minutes. Neither Kasey Hill nor Dorian Finney-Smith is a scorer, but both are solid role players that allow the Gators to rotate their stars to keep them fresh.
Winner The Bruins believe in rotation and have three bench players who put in a lot of minutes in Tony Parker, Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford. Parker and Alford are the two to watch, as they can score a lot of points in reserve roles.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

(credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) (credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

While this looks like a tie, with UCLA having the advantage on offense and the bench, the Florida Gators are a very strong team. This is a game that could be the most exciting of the tournament, with a great offense battling a great defense, but if the Super Bowl showed the world anything, it was that a great defense can really shut down a great offense. Florida should leave this game with the win by about four.

Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience in the media He covers all things college basketball. Find his work at Examiner.com.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 4:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals avoids an attempted tackle by Marcus Smith II #90 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 27:  Josh McCown #13 of the Cleveland Browns looks to pass during the second quarter against the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 27, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

    The Bengals, fresh off a win over the Eagles, look to beat up on their in-state rival in Cleveland.

  2. SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 04:  Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers throws against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Qualcomm Stadium on December 4, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers rushes against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: San Diego Chargers at Carolina Panthers

    Two teams that have suffered disappointing losses this season square off in Carolina.

  3. GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 04:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass against the Washington Redskins during the first quarter of a game at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 31-23. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Quarterback Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Miami Dolphins drops back while teammate offensive guard Laremy Tunsil #67 blocks against the Baltimore Ravens in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Arizona Cardinals at Miami Dolphins

    The Cardinals and Dolphins face off in a match-up of teams fighting to get back in the playoff picture.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS New York

BUY TICKETS NOW
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Listen Live