NCAA Tournament

Gators put end to Norfolk State’s Cinderella story

Norfolk State was a quite a story while it lasted.

Against Florida, that wasn’t for long.

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

Any hope Norfolk State had of matching the upset it pulled against Missouri on Friday vanished as the Gators went on a 25-0 run in the first half.

Now seventh-seeded Florida is off to Phoenix to face Marquette on Thursday in the round of 16.

The Gators are 17-2 in NCAA Tournament games since 2005-06. Combined with their 71-45 win over Virginia on Friday, the Gators left Omaha with two wins by a total margin of 60 points.

“There are certain guys who want this kind of stage,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “In this tournament you have to have players who play fearlessly on both ends of the floor and are not worried about making mistakes and are competitive and are driven to want to be great.”

Norfolk State, 26-10, shook up the West Regional with its upset Friday and was trying to become the first No. 15 seed to reach the regional semifinals.

Florida, 25-10, put a quick end to that notion, making five threes during the 25-0 run that made it 29-6 midway through the first half.

The Spartans, who shot 54 percent and made 10 of 19 threes against Missouri, were four of 24 on threes against the Gators and shot 27 percent overall.