Florida Gators (29-6) vs. Georgetown Hoyas (23-9)
When: Tonight, 9:40 p.m. ET
1. BFF. The Gators' heralded sophomores — Joakim Noah, Taurean Green, Al Horford and Corey Brewer — are like totally Best Friends Forever. All four have lived together for the past two years. (If you're scoring at home, Noah's the messy one.) They're so close, they all have each other's McDonald's orders memorized. (Horford's a two double cheeseburgers guy.) None has a car, so they all cram into a friend's Honda Civic when they roll out together. Noah sums up the relationship: "Yesterday Taurean (Green) woke me up and said, 'Hey man, I love you, you're like a brother to me.' I said that's kind of weird for a dude to come up to you and say 'I love you,' but hey, we're like a family here."
2. Good Company. Please, go ahead and dismiss Florida as a football school. But try not to ignore that only three schools have been at least a six seed in each of the last eight tournaments: Duke, Kansas and the Gators.
3. Unavoidable Patterns. 1994: Gators advance to the Final Four for the first time, but lose in the national semifinals. Fast-forward six years, and the Gators advance to the championship for the first time, but lose. Fast-forward another six years to 2006, and it's a given that the Gators clear the final hurdle! Right?
1. Who Wants to Sex Mutumbo?! To quote The Mighty MJD, "Dikembe walked into a Georgetown bar one night [in the early '90s], the entire place stopped to look at him, and in response, Mutombo just yelled out, "WHO WANTS TO SEX MUTOMBO?!" There used to be a site dedicated to this that would post pics of Mutombo "sexing" different NBA players (you know, trying to get around Tim Duncan for a rebound or something), but, sadly, it has been taken down. The internets are worse off without it.
2. Is Hibbert the Next Ostertag? G-Town's 7'2" center averaged 18 and 11 in wins over Northern Iowa and Ohio State, catapulting the Hoyas into the Sweet 16 and his stock up from going 26th overall in the '07 draft a week ago to 15th (according to NBADraft.net). However, his "NBA comparison" is still Greg Ostertag, who went 28th in '95 and has never scored more than 7 points/game. Luckily for Hibbert, who reportedly couldn't even run when he got to campus last year, the passing and footwork he's displaying indicate a far brighter future. Related note: Teammate and fellow sophomore Jeff Green moved up the NBADraft.net '07 board from 11th to 8th in the past week.
3. Man Hugs Are the New Hoya Paranoia. Back in the '80s, G-Town basketball was coached by John Thompson Jr. with a scowl and assembly line of intimidating players. He'd tape the doors so no one could watch practice and stalk the sidelines with his signature white towel while 'Zo and Ewing swatted floaters into the aisles. Now, "his son's players hug him like a grandfather. For the Westwood One radio network, he will go to Minneapolis and announce his son's game against Florida — knowing he has no real chance at objectivity." — Jamie Mottram