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2014 NCAA Preview: Can the Albany Great Danes Survive a Fight with the Florida Gators?

Albany battled their way to the coveted 16 seed spot in the NCAA tournament after a win over Mount Saint Mary's. But the real challenge comes in the 1 seed v. 16 seed match up. Does Albany have what it takes to run with the big dogs?

Albany had an impressive run in the America East. They finished fourth in the standings and went on to defeat the top two seeds on their home court for the bid to the NCAA Tournament. They've proven they have what it takes to make it to the big dance more than once, as this marks back-to-back appearances for the second time in the past decade.

Now all that's left is to see if they can keep up with a major powerhouse like the Florida Gators. A 1 seed has never lost to a 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament before. Albany wants to try and change that. They made history in the America East, so why not take it one step further and make history in the tournament?

Their offense is visibly slow, to say the least. They pride themselves on taking time to set up plays and not rush shots. One of Coach Brown's mantras during the America East Tournament was "Just relax" and he's going to push that into today's game.

Their mainly man-to-man defense might prove a problem as Florida likes to take a hefty dose of 3-point shots, something the Danes are willing to give up to keep the offense out of the paint. To beat the Gators, the Great Danes are going to have to have everything work in their favor and hope for another explosion on offense from DJ Evans in order to stand a chance.

The Florida Gators plowed through the SEC regular season and won the SEC title. Oh, and they're an overall 1 seed ranked first in the nation. It's going to take a lot of talent and some luck to come out with a win against these guys, although they did have trouble against Kentucky in their conference title game before grabbing the one point win.

They have much more experience than Albany in pretty much every aspect possible. They like to take three point shots and seemingly have no real weakness to exploit. They lost two games their entire season, both to ranked teams, but are coming into this game on a 26 game winning streak. They would have to have an unreasonable amount of turnovers and miss some key free throws to give Albany a chance.

But, it's officially March Madness which means anything is possible, even something thought to be completely impossible.


Location: Orlando, FL (Amway Center)

Date/Time: Thursday, March 20 / 4:10 p.m. ET

Television: TBS

Tickets: NCAA