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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — No. 4 seed Florida (24-8) vs. No. 13 seed East Tennessee State (27-7)
First round, East region; Orlando, Florida; 3:10 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Turnovers should be telling. Florida guards Kasey Hill, KeVaughn Allen and Chris Chiozza want to pick pockets and get easy baskets, and the trio might have chances against ETSU. The Buccaneers rank 312th in the nation in turnovers, giving it away 15 times a game. The Bucs have been better lately, but Florida's speed on the perimeter could pose problems.
MISFIT TOYS: Coach Steve Forbes, who estimates he's done about 60 media interviews in the last eight days, says his team is filled with "guys from the Land of Misfit Toys." It's a reference to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and is fairly accurate. The Bucs have two former Indiana players and five junior college transfers. "They all need a home," Forbes said. "We all have a home here. We all have a story, and we've come together for a common goal, though, and that is to win and to go to the NCAA Tournament."
MISSING MAN: The Gators are 3-3, including three losses in their last four games, since center John Egbunu suffered a season-ending knee injury. Without Egbunu, coach Mike White has gone with three and four guards more often, but that's limited the team's effectiveness in the paint.
DID YOU KNOW: Florida has to keep close tabs on ETSU guard T.J. Cromer, one of the nation's top 3-point shooters. He has taken 255 3-pointers this season and shoots 40.4 percent from behind the arc. He averages 19.1 points and really took over the Southern Conference Tournament, dropping 41 in a semifinal victory and 23 in the title game.
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