BYU faces Florida in 1st round of NCAA tournament

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- No. 14 BYU faces Florida in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Cougars (29-5) are the No. 7 seed in the West and will play the Gators on Thursday in Oklahoma City.

This is the fourth straight year in the tournament for the Cougars, who haven't gotten out of the first round since 1993. BYU has lost its last seven first-round NCAA tournament games.

BYU got an at-large bid after losing in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament.

The 10th-seeded Gators (21-12) lost in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament, but are in the tournament after a two year absence.

Florida has won 12 consecutive games in the NCAA tournament, all coming during back-to-back title runs in 2006 and 2007.

The Gators missed the 65-team field the last two seasons and settled for the NIT. They desperately wanted to get back in the NCAA tournament this year, but struggled to overcome depth issues, poor 3-point shooting and inconsistent frontcourt play.

Utah State (27-7), a No. 12 seed, will face Texas A&M (23-9) Friday in Spokane, Wash.

Utah State's loss in the Western Athletic Conference tournament championship game didn't keep the Aggies out of the NCAA tournament.

Utah State won the WAC regular-season title but lost to New Mexico State in the conference tournament title game.

This is the second straight year the Aggies have made the tournament and the 19th time overall.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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