This surely goes without saying, but Joakim Noah is pumped about the Florida Gators getting back to the Final Four.
This will be Florida's first trip since Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green and friends won consecutive NCAA titles in 2006 and '07.
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Noah said he usually visits Gainesville, Fla., to spend time with Florida coach Billy Donovan in September, before NBA training camp begins. The current Gators feature four senior starters.
"I got to see those guys grow up," Noah said after Monday's win over Boston. "Just being in the Elite Eight three years in a row and finally getting over the hump and playing in the Final Four, I'm just really happy for those guys.
"There's nothing better than that, being able to get that 'W,' going back to campus knowing that you're going got the Final Four. We're not going to get into the details, but it's special; it's really special."
Asked what sort of fan he is during games, Noah admitted to yelling at the television every once in awhile.
"Just a proud alum. Those were the best times of my life and I'm watching these young guys. The emotions that they've been though, I've felt that before," Noah said.
"I'm really proud to have worn those colors. I know one day I'll be old as heck, I'll be a grandpa and I'll still be rooting for the Gators. So that's cool."
Asked if he's rooting for a matchup with SEC rival Kentucky in the title game, Noah yelled across the locker room to former Kentucky center Nazr Mohammed.
"Do they really have to ask that?" Mohammed said.
"It's the law of the jungle," Noah countered. "Gators don't lose to no kitty cats."
Noah singles out Gibson:
Joakim Noah paid a strong compliment to teammate Taj Gibson following Monday's 94-80 win over the Celtics.
"He's just somebody who really cares about winning, more than anybody I've been around," Noah said. "He really wants to win, and that's his main priority. There's nobody who comes even close to what he brings to this team."
Really, through two NCAA title runs and seven years in the NBA, Gibson cares more about winning than anyone Noah has been around?
"He's selfless," Noah said. "It's not about awards with him. It's not about starting. It's not about any of that. I think he's somebody who sacrifices a lot for this team. You can tell when he's on the court, he's playing for the right reasons. He's playing for the team."
Dunleavy a screen king:
Mike Dunleavy scored a team-high 22 points against Boston. One game may not cure his shooting slump, though.
Dunleavy hasn't shot 50 percent from the field in consecutive games since Feb. 9 and 11. Before scoring 22 against the Celtics, he went 4-for-20 from the field in the previous two contests.
"He does a lot more than just shoot. It's the threat of the shot. He creates space," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "No one's leaving Mike Dunleavy open. One of the things that gets overlooked more than anything else is the screening that he does.
"A great screen is another act of unselfishness and makes your team a lot better. He's probably one of our best screeners, if not the best."
March of dimes:
Joakim Noah's 120 assists in March are the most by an NBA center in a single month since Wilt Chamberlain had 155 in March 1968, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Chamberlain led the league in assists that season with 8.6 per game.