ARLINGTON, Texas -- The clock struck midnight for Cinderella, but this NCAA Tournament experience is something Florida Gulf Coast University will remember for a long time.
Mike Rosario scored 15 points and the Florida Gators rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit to oust No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast, 62-50, in the South Regional semifinals. Scottie Wilbekin added 13 points and Casey Prather scored 11 for the third- seeded Gators (29-7), who will meet fourth seed Michigan on Sunday.
The Wolverines came back from a 14-point second-half hole to beat top seed Kansas, 87-85, in overtime, in the first game Friday night at Cowboys Stadium. In only their second year of eligibility for the NCAA Tournament, the Eagles (26-11) played bracket-wrecker following a 78-68 upset of Georgetown in the second round.
Then came an 81-71 victory over San Diego State. The Atlantic Sun Tournament champions, the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16, raced to a 15-4 lead thanks to their quick tempo that led to alley- oop buckets and 3-pointers. The Gators, though, settled in and used a dominating 23-2 spurt that bridged the first and second halves.
When the flurry was over, Florida held a 37-26 lead. There was plenty of big moments for Dunk City, a moniker used by the team for their penchant for highlight-reel plays. There were some of them Friday night, but eventually the Gators clamped down defensively and made it to the Elite Eight for a third straight year.
Sherwood Brown had 14 points, Chase Fieler scored 12 and Christophe Varidel had 10 for the Eagles, who went 9-of-16 from the field in the first half, but then went only 11-of-28 over the final 20 minutes.