ARLINGTON, Texas, March 30 (UPI) -- Will Yeguete had four of Florida's 11 steals Friday in a defensive performance that knocked Florida Gulf Coast out of the NCAA tourney 62-50.
Florida Gulf Coast became the first No. 15 seed to reach the tournament's regional semifinals and the Eagles did so in their NCAA debut, but Florida's relentless pressure finally brought an end to their amazing run.
Florida appeared set to become another victim when the Eagles bolted to a 17-6 lead midway through the first half, but the Gators rallied to take a four-point advantage at intermission and eased in front during the closing 20 minutes.
The Gators will now meet Michigan in the South Region title game for a spot in the Final Four, the Wolverines having come from behind to defeat Kansas in overtime 87-85.
Florida is seeking its third NCAA title under Coach Billy Donovan, who guided the Gators to the national crown in 2006 and 2007.
Yeguete scored only two points and attempted just three shots, but he symbolized the defensive effort that brought the Gators the win.
Florida (29-7) forced 20 turnovers in all and gave itself second-chance opportunities throughout the game by claiming 13 offensive rebounds. The Gators wound up taking 13 more shots from the field than did the Eagles and had 12 more chances from the foul line.
Mike Rosario led the Florida offense with 15 points while Scottie Wilbekin had 13.
Florida Gulf Coast (26-11) which captured the imagination of basketball fans with its up-tempo style that led to tournament wins over Georgetown and San Diego State, was paced by Sherwood Brown with 14 points.