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As Gators' motivation, hate can be splendid

Atlanta — Atlanta -- The day before the national semifinals, the Florida players, almost to a man, presented "hate" as their motivational theme for the Final Four. The other teams hate us because we have what they want, they said. Other fans hate us because we're the champs. Everybody wants to see us get knocked off.

"I'm not talking about someone trying to kill me," the Gators' Joakim Noah said Friday. "When I say 'hate,' I'm talking about all the doubters. There have been a lot of doubters this year. You know - 'The Gators, they've lost three in a row. They're going to be out of the tournament in the first week, baby! '"

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Inside Preview and scouting report. PG 9D



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