Florida Chases Consecutive Crown

But Florida, if it can beat Ohio State for a second time this season, has a chance to do the unthinkable. Given the times, it can become a dynasty as impressive, perhaps even more so, than the one Duke's Mike Krzyzewski assembled in his Durham factory.

It was a revealing moment Sunday as Ohio State's players listed their all-time best college teams, followed later in the afternoon by Florida's players and their choices.

"I'd have to say the Duke team," Buckeyes guard Jamar Butler said.

"Same one Jamar said," OSU's Ivan Harris said.

"Duke, '91-'92," Lewis said.

But when the same question was put to Florida's five starters, not one player mentioned the Blue Devils. Instead, it was '96 Kentucky, '00 Florida, '98 North Carolina, '98 Kentucky. Donovan had a sweet spot for '90 UNLV and '96 Kentucky.

Someone obviously has provided the Buckeyes with a hoops history lesson. Not only can Ohio State win its first basketball national title since 1960 but it can prevent Florida from creating a legacy, relatively speaking, for the ages.

"You know, we don't want a team to go back-to-back, and especially not on us," Lewis said.

It's a nice thought, but Florida is the best team in the country. It's that simple. The Gators don't always play like it, but when they're totally engaged in a game -- like they were when it mattered in the semis against UCLA on Saturday night -- they're nearly impossible to beat. Add Lewis' comments to Monday evening's equation and you have a Florida team with a grudge and a rare chance at basketball immortality.

I admire those '91-92 Duke teams for all sorts of reasons -- the coaching, the '91 win in the semis against supposedly invincible UNLV, the '92 OT regional final win against Kentucky in what my colleague Pat Forde calls "the greatest game ever played," the resiliency and the way those Krzyzewski teams turned basketball into a craft. And if '06-07 Florida played '91-92 Duke, I'd take the Gators. A little too much size, too much bench.

The Gators have won 17 consecutive postseason games. Seventeen. They are here because of talent but also because of something as corny as love and respect for one another. The Dukies had a similar bond.

But nobody left Duke early 16 years ago. Now, Josh McRoberts bolts Cameron as a sophomore. Meanwhile, Noah, Brewer and Al Horford -- all of whom would have been first-round NBA draft picks last year -- returned for a final run.

"We have a chance to make history, to do something really, really special," Noah said.

He misses the point. They already have.

Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at gene.wojciechowski@espn3.com.

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