By Ray Daudani| March 16, 2012 at 7:09 PM EST - Updated June 26 at 6:11 PM
Omaha, NE (WWBT) - The Virginia basketball team had not tasted an NCAA Tournament since 2007, but after Friday's first round match-up with Florida, the Cavaliers' stay seems over before it really began.
Florida shot nearly 70 percent from the floor in the second half and pulled away from Virginia, as the Gators trounced the Cavaliers, 71-45, in West Region action on Friday afternoon. The Wahoos started the game out quickly, opening the game on a 10-2 run, but Florida chipped away. The Gators took their first lead at the 6:33 mark in the first half, and would keep Virginia from re-taking the advantage. By halftime, Florida had built an eight point lead at 30-22.
Billy Donovan's team got hot in the second, shooting 69.6 percent from the floor and pulling away in a hurry. The Gators, who average nearly ten three pointers per game, only hit four on Friday, but got the job done inside the arc and with a pressing defense that left the out-manned Cavaliers flustered.
Mike Scott led the Wahoos with 15 points in the losing effort, his final game in a Virginia uniform. Fellow fifth-year senior Sammy Zeglinski scored eight, as did junior guard Jontel Evans. Florida dominated the boards, out-rebounded UVa, 36-21.
Virginia's season ends with a record of 22-10. Florida advances to the second round and will face either Missouri or Norfolk State on Sunday.