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Final Four field features plenty of obstacles for lone remaining No. 1 seed Florida

Final Four field features plenty of obstacles for lone remaining No. 1 seed Florida

Just because top-ranked Florida is the only No. 1 seed to reach the Final Four doesn't mean the Gators have an easy path to their third national championship in nine seasons.

Two of the teams joining the SEC champs in Arlington next weekend are the only opponents to beat them this season.

East Regional champ UConn, Florida's Final Four opponent next Saturday, edged the Gators 65-64 on Dec. 2 on a buzzer-beating jump shot from Shabazz Napier. West regional champ Wisconsin, one of Florida's potential national title game foes, defeated the Gators 59-53 in Madison on Nov. 12 thanks to a game-sealing jump shot from guard Traevon Jackson in the final seconds.

The fourth team will also be a major threat even if it fell to Florida three times already this season. Midwest regional champ Kentucky came within a single point of defeating the Gators in the SEC title game earlier this month and has since toppled unbeaten Wichita State, dangerous No. 4 seed Louisville and last year's national runner-up Michigan to reach its third Final Four in four years.    

Of course, Florida won't be intimidated by any of its Final Four foes.

In its two losses this season, the Gators were without SEC player of the year Scottie Wilbekin at Wisconsin and lost Wilbekin to an ankle injury late in the second half against UConn. Florida has won 30 straight games since those losses, beating its four NCAA tournament foes by 10 or more points after becoming only the fourth SEC team since 1956 to finish unbeaten in league play.

The only college basketball coaches with three or more national championships are UCLA's John Wooden, Kentucky's Adolph Rupp, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, UConn's Jim Calhoun and Indiana's Bob Knight. Florida is hoping it can win two more games and help Billy Donovan join that illustrious list.

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