The Way I See It, Florida is the best team in the nation, at least they were during the month of April. The Gators began the 2005/06 season with a 17-game win streak before losing to Tennessee. Actually all six of Florida's losses occurred within the Southeastern Conference. Both Tennessee and South Carolina defeated the National Champions twice during the regular season. Led by Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Lee Humphrey, Al Horford and Chris Humphrey the Gators seemed to stumble near the end of the regular season losing three straight games to Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama. Falling down the charts by both fans and coaches, who ranked the Gators 10th and 4th respectively, Florida came chomping back with 11 consecutive wins earning the right to cut down the nets at Indianapolis.

I've gained a lot of respect for Billy Donovan, who has paced the Florida courtside for the past 10 years and taken the Gators to eight NCAA tournaments. A disciple of Rick Pitino, Donovan has that clean-cut look that appeals to me. Besides he looks like he could step on the court and play with the best of them.

After defeating LSU by 14 points on March 11 and the Gamecocks one-day later, the Gators began their run at Minneapolis with wins over South Alabama (76-50), Wis. Milwaukee (82-60), Georgetown (57-53), and Villanova (75-62). Their 73-58 win over George Mason set the stage for the showdown with the team from the west, UCLA, seeded number two out of their region. UCLA was inflicted with an awesome bit from the Gators losing by 16 points in the final.

This week will find me purchasing lunch for Dick Carrigan at the Gallery Grille. I'm now wearing the Dunce Hat after taking the Bruins at the Big Dance. When it comes to choosing a bear over an alligator, go with the Gator.

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