Gators top Norfolk St. 84-50, head to round of 16

By Eric Olson

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, March 18 2012 6:50 p.m. MDT

Norfolk State guard Rodney McCauley (15) struggles between Florida defenders Bradley Beal and Erik Murphy (33) during the first half of a third round NCAA college basketball tournament game at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb., Sunday, March 18, 2012.

Nati Harnik, Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. — No big upset this time. Kenny Boynton and Florida were just too good for surprising Norfolk State.

Boynton scored 20 points and the balanced Gators routed the 15th-seeded Spartans 84-50 on Sunday to reach the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.

Norfolk State shook up the West Regional when it upset No. 2 seed Missouri 86-84 on Friday, and was trying to become the first 15 seed to reach the round of 16.

Florida put a quick end to that idea, making five 3-pointers during a 25-0 run that made it 29-6 midway through the first half.

The seventh-seeded Gators (25-10) made it to the regional semifinals for the sixth time in 12 NCAA tournament appearances under coach Billy Donovan. They will play No. 3 seed Marquette on Thursday in Phoenix after their second straight runaway win.

Florida was 4 for 23 from beyond the arc in its tourney opener, but still managed to beat Virginia 71-45. It rediscovered its shooting touch early against Norfolk State (26-10), making five of its first eight 3-point attempts and 10 of 28 for the game.

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