Sports

Top-seeded Florida insists 'anything can happen' against 16th-seeded Albany in NCAA tournament

  • Florida head coach Billy Donovan, center, talks with his players during practice for the NCAA college basketball tournament in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Florida plays against Albany in a second round game on Thursday. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    Florida head coach Billy Donovan, center, talks with his players during practice for the NCAA college basketball tournament in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Florida plays against Albany in a second round game on Thursday. (AP Photo/John Raoux)  (The Associated Press)

  • Albany guard Peter Hooley, center, celebrates with guard D.J. Evans, left, and forward Gary Johnson after Albany defeated Mount St. Mary's 71-64 in a first-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Skip Peterson)

    Albany guard Peter Hooley, center, celebrates with guard D.J. Evans, left, and forward Gary Johnson after Albany defeated Mount St. Mary's 71-64 in a first-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Skip Peterson)  (The Associated Press)

  • Florida's Patric Young takes a shot during practice for the NCAA college basketball tournament in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Florida plays against Albany in a second round game on Thursday. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    Florida's Patric Young takes a shot during practice for the NCAA college basketball tournament in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Florida plays against Albany in a second round game on Thursday. (AP Photo/John Raoux)  (The Associated Press)

Don't tell top-seeded Florida that its NCAA tournament opener should be a lopsided laugher.

The Gators don't want to hear it after eking out back-to-back, grind-it-out games against Tennessee and Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference tournament.

So forget the 26-game winning streak. Disregard being 21½-point favorites against 16th-seeded Albany. Coach Billy Donovan has gotten in his players ears, and they listened.

Guard Scottie Wilbekin says, "Anything can happen. Anybody can beat anybody, so we've got to be on our toes."

The Gators, the No. 1 seed in the South Region, open tournament play Thursday against the Great Danes, who beat Mount St. Mary's 71-64 in the First Four on Tuesday.

No. 1 seeds are 116-0 in opening games since the NCAA tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.