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(10) Florida Gators vs (7) Nevada Wolf Pack: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Florida Gators vs Nevada Wolf Pack

Where: Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA

When: Thursday, March 21st at 6:50 PM EST

How (TV): TNT, NCAA.com

(7) Nevada Wolf Pack

Head Coach: Eric Musselman {Record: 29-4 | Conference: 15-3, 1st in MWC}

Considering where the Wolf Pack were expected to be seeded at the beginning of the season, the Eric Musselman and his staff can’t be too disappointed by their draw against the Florida Gators. They’ve benefitted from their easy schedule this season, particularly against non-conference competition as those teams just seemed to underachieve by their own hand.

Eric Musselman has his Wolf Pack squad playing a very unique offense. Contrary to most NCAA teams, Nevada has found themselves playing an isolation driven, one-on-one style of basketball. While it has allowed them to go on impressive scoring runs to complement their transition, scoring, and athleticism, it also forces them into a lot of difficult shots.

That impressive offense starts and ends with Senior Forward Caleb Martin. The transfer from NC State has found his game with the Wolf Pack and it led to a MWC Player of the Year Award last year. His usage has only increased this season, where he has increased his three-point attempts from 6.9 to 9.3 this season. It will be interesting to see if he can lead the Wolf Pack against the hard-pressing, defensive style of March Madness.

(10) Florida Gators (Home)

Head Coach: Michael White {Record: 19-15 | Conference: 9-9, 8th in SEC}

Despite an up and down season, the Florida Gators were able to play their best basketball in the SEC Tournament. They made a deep run, defeating Arkansas and the top-ranked LSU Tigers. They, unfortunately, lost to Auburn by a mere three points in the Final.

Florida will have to keep up with the pace of the Wolf Pack. While the Gators’ offense has left much to be desired this season, they are ranked 14th in defensive efficiency in the nation. Due to Florida’s inconsistent offense, they will likely try to prevent the running game of the Wolf Pack by playing a diligent and selective offense.

The keys to that offense are in the hands of Canadian freshman Andrew Nembhard. He has struggled with the physicality of the NCAA at times, shown by his team-high 2.0 turnover per game. Despite that, he remains one of the most talented and natural playmakers in the country with 5.3 assists per game. He is not a volume shooter, but some additional offense from the Gators’ primary playmaker would be well appreciated.

Nevada Wolf Pack Roster Notes

G Lindsey Drew – 12 Dec 2018 – OUT (Hip) – is out for the season.

G Jordan Caroline – 17 Mar 2019 – Day-to-Day (Achilles) – Caroline is engaging in training and is a gamete decision against the Florida Gators.

Florida Gators Roster Notes

C Gorjok Gak – 11 Jun 2018 – OUT (Knee) – is out for the season.

F Keith Stone – 21 Jan 2019 – OUT (ACL) – is out for the season.

F Chase Johnson – 4 Jan 2019 – OUT (Transfer) – Chase Johnson has left the team as per transfer rules.

Head-to-Head: Trey Porter (NEV) vs KeVaughn Allen (FLO)

For the Nevada Wolf Pack their talisman in the middle will be key for them going forward. The pace slows in the NCAA tournament, and Trey Porter’s ability to control the paint will be key for the Wolf Pack. On the other side, KeVaughn Allen will be responsible for sparking the Florida Gators offense. While Florida’s offense can be inefficient, Allen has shown the ability to put his team on his back and really lead his team to victory.

Trey Porter

Forward | 6-11, 230lb (211cm, 104kg) | Woodbridge, VA | Potomac | Senior

7.4 PPG | 0.5 APG | 4.8 RPG | 0.2 SPG | 0.8 BPG | 1.0 TOV | .607 FG% | .143 3P%

Trey Porter was a massive pick up for the Wolf Pack over the off-season. Coming in as a transfer from Old Dominion, Porter sacrificed a significant role with the Monarchs for a more defined and valuable role as a whole for the Wolf Pack. Porter has anchored the Wolf Pack defense and has proved himself to be their most crucial frontcourt player. If they are able to slow down the game, Porter will play a massive role in providing Nevada with an efficient offense.

KeVaughn Allen

Guard | 6-2, 193lb (188cm, 87kg) | Little Rock, AR | North Little Rock HS | Senior

12.0 PPG | 2.1 APG | 2.8 RPG | 1.4 SPG | 0.2 BPG | 2.0 TOV | .387 FG% | .328 3P%

Six different Florida players average 8 points or more per game. At the top of that list is Senior guard KeVaughn Allen. He is a strong, score-first guard with the mentality to take over the game. While his playmaking isn’t as strong as teammate Andrew Nembhard, Allen is probably the Gators’ most capable option in a late-clock situation. Considering the Gators will look to slow the pace of the Wolf Pack, Allen may be leaned on heavily.

Florida Gators at Nevada Wolf Pack Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Florida Gators favored over the Nevada Wolf Pack by 2.5, with an over/under of 110.

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AUTHOR

Christian Jope

805 Articles

Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.

Email: [email protected]

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