TAMPA, Fla. — Erving Walker scored 18 points, Chandler Parsons flirted with his first triple-double and Florida coasted to a 79-51 victory over 15th-seeded UC Santa Barbara in the Southeast region Thursday night.
Parsons, the Southeastern Conference's player of the year, finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and a career-high 10 assists.
Florida (27-7) made 11 of its first 15 shots, opened up a double-digit lead and kept piling on the rest of the way. The Gators were bigger, faster, more skilled and more athletic at nearly every position — and it showed in what was the most lopsided game so far on the first day of the tournament.
Florida made its opening game look like one of those preseason exhibitions. Yes, the Gators looked every bit like a No. 2 seed.
Orlando Johnson led the Gauchos (18-14) with 21 points.