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Shooting star (cont.)

Posted: Saturday April 1, 2006 11:08PM; Updated: Saturday April 1, 2006 11:08PM
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As it has done all tournament, George Mason fought valiantly and didn't back down, even when Florida opened up a 17-point lead early in the second half. But the Gators proved to be too much for the Patriots, especially inside. Florida outrebounded George Mason 40-27 and didn't give the Patriots many second chances.

"We could tell their bigs were aware of us the whole game," said Horford. "After we blocked a few shots we got in their heads a little bit. When they started pump faking all the time I knew we were really affecting them."

Florida was careful not to take George Mason lightly, but the Gators came out aggressive and intent to prove they were the better team. Florida took the crowd out of the game early, played outstanding defense and displayed the poise of a championship-caliber team.

"George Mason had an incredible run and beat some really good teams," said Brewer. "But we wanted to make sure the ride ended with us. Before the game coach told us that the Cinderella ride had to end tonight. We were all pretty pumped and I was thinking, Let's kiss her, put her in her carriage and send her home."

Thanks to Humphrey, Florida won't be going home without taking its shot at a national title.