NEW ORLEANS -- The Jimmer show closed its college tour in New Orleans on Thursday night.
Florida outlasted BYU 83-74 in overtime to advance to its first Elite Eight since winning consecutive national championships in 2006 and ’07. BYU’s quest for its first Final Four appearance is over.
Jimmer Fredette was hounded throughout the game, especially in the first half as the Gators continued to rush two players at him at the top of the key, forcing him to drive to the basket. Fredette finished with 32 points but was just 11-for-29 overall, 3-of-15 on 3-pointers. Fredette simply never found a rhythm from long range. The 15 3-point attempts were a career high. There were times when Fredette was forcing his shot and not looking to pass to the rest of the team -- most notably the hot hands earlier in the game.
But the story of the game was the way the Gators made the plays at the end (outscoring BYU 15-6 in OT) and controlled the backboard when it mattered most. Alex Tyus had the game of his life with 19 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. Vernon Macklin may have struggled at the free throw line (1-of-5) but he still came up with a few key buckets.
Key play in the game: Walker chased down a huge loose-ball rebound off a Boynton missed 3-pointer at the end of regulation. Chandler Parsons ended up missing the shot at the buzzer, but it prevented Fredette from getting the last shot of the game.
Key stat: Hard to ignore that the Cougars missed 17 3-pointers. Fredette missed 12 by himself, which was three more than he's ever missed in a game.
Miscellaneous: Florida lost to BYU in double overtime a year ago in the NCAA tournament and previously had been 0-3 all-time against the Cougars. ... The Gators are now 13-2 in their past 15 games and advance to their fourth Elite Eight since 2000. Since 1975, they are 9-2 in Elite Eight games and beyond.
What’s next: BYU is done and will join the WCC next season. Florida moves on to the regional final and awaits Butler or Wisconsin.