It looked shaky at first, but Florida survived.
The Gators, one of the heavyweights in the NCAA tournament, fought fledgling Northwestern State most of the night before pulling away late for a 79-47 win in the first round at the Frank Erwin Center. It was an unspectacular beginning to the tournament for third-seeded Florida, but it was good enough to reach the next round for a chance at No. 6 seed UCLA or No. 11 seed Minnesota on Sunday.
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