Florida Wins 2006 NCAA Basketball Championship

Too bad the NCAA Championship game can be summed up with one sentence.

Florida dominated inside and UCLA was a one-man team for the night-their only supporting member being Jordan Farmar.

UCLA didn’t look like the team they were a few nights ago against LSU, and Florida was simply unstoppable. Florida’s inside men were too big and too good for UCLA’s star big man Ryan Hollins.

Joakim Noah was all over on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. He scored 16 points and set an NCAA record with six blocks.

It seemed as if he scared all the good shooting and defensive skill right out of the Bruins with his infamous scream.

It was not a one-man show for the Gators, however. Their five starters all scored in double digits.

Selflessness seemed to be the motto for the Gators; they looked for the open man every time down the floor and even Noah, though he was on fire, wasn’t too eager to shoot the ball.

There isn’t too much to say about UCLA’s game. Maybe they were flustered because the Bruins’ 10-time NCAA Champion coach John Wooden had been hospitalized earlier in the day. Or maybe Noah reminded them of a big, scary, screaming animal. Whatever it was, they were just unable to handle the strength and determination of the Gators.

Their big man, Hollins, was weak inside. Mata, their only other dependable big man, got into early foul trouble. Afflolo, their leading scorer, was hitting the rim as much as the Gators were dunking – that’s a lot for those who didn’t watch the game. Farmar tried his hardest to get the Bruins going, but the Gators were relentless.

Every time Farmar would hit a three, Noah or Horford would come down and dunk the ball. UCLA’s backcourt press wasn’t doing much and when it did, the refs would miss the call.

Florida’s team is young and with Noah being a sophomore, it may be only the beginning of a Gators legacy. They took home their first national basketball championship ever. To add to the glory, their coach Billy Donovan became the second youngest coach ever to win a NCAA Championship. Donovan started from scratch 12 years ago and built a championship team.

With the win, the University of Florida became only the seventh school to capture NCAA football and basketball championships. This elite group now consists of UCLA, Maryland, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan, Syracuse and Florida.

Florida fans got to see an amazing show of talent while witnessing their team take home the first ever national championship. And while UCLA’s game looked about as bad as Joakim Noah’s hair, there is still hope for them. Both UCLA and Florida were some of the youngest teams to compete in the tournament this year. That means we will be seeing a lot more of them in tournaments to come.

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