Sneak Peek: Virginia Tech getting ready for Florida in 2021 NCAA Tournament first round
Virginia Tech, the 10 seed in the South Region, faces seventh-seeded Florida to begin Friday’s slate of games at 12:15 p.m. ET on CBS at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The matchup will be broadcast on CBS, with Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Bill Raftery (analyst), Grant Hill (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (reporter) on the call.
Florida (14-9, 9-7 SEC) is coming off a 12-point loss to Tennessee (18-8, 9-7 SEC), a five seed in the NCAA Tournament, last Friday in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, 78-66. The Gators never led and were down by as many as 17 points.
UF coach Mike White is in his sixth year in Gainesville, following a four-year stint as the head coach at Louisiana Tech. With the Gators, White has racked up over 120 wins and led them to four straight NCAA Tournament berths. He also has earned Coach of the Year honors in three conferences (WAC, C-USA, SEC).
Florida is led by All-SEC selection Tre Mann, who is averaging a team-high 16.0 points and team-best 3.4 assists per game, and Colin Castleton, who is second on the team in points (12.0) and is first in rebounds (5.9).
One of the better rim-protecting teams in the nation, the Gators are fourth nationally in blocks per game, owning 5.4 a contest. They also capitalize once they get to the charity stripe, shooting 75.7 percent from the free-throw line to rank 40th overall and first in the SEC.