Colin Castleton produced game-high totals with 16 points and eight rebounds Monday night, helping 23rd-ranked Florida open the Fort Myers (Fla.) Tip-Off Beach Division with an 80-60 romp over California.
The Gators (4-0) advance to Wednesday's championship game, where they will duel Ohio State, a 79-76 victor over 21st-ranked Seton Hall in Monday's earlier game in the Beach Division.
The Golden Bears (2-3) drop into a consolation-game matchup with Seton Hall, also on Wednesday.
In the first basketball matchup of the schools since 1988 in Alaska, Cal played Florida on even terms for almost 12 minutes, gaining a 17-all tie on a Joel Brown layup at the 8:36 mark of the first half.
But the Gators dominated the rest of the first period, getting nine points from Phlandrous Fleming Jr. and a pair of 3-pointers from Myreon Jones in a 29-10 run to go into the halftime break with a 46-27 lead.
Florida went on to lead by as many as 26 points in the second half before coasting home.
Castleton hit six of his 11 shots for the Gators, who out-shot the Golden Bears 51.9 percent to 44.0 percent.
Tyree Appleby backed Castleton with 15 points for Florida, while Jones finished with 13 and Fleming 11 off the bench.
Nine of Jones' 13 points came on 3-pointers as the Gators shot 42.1 percent (8-for-19) from beyond the arc. Cal, meanwhile, made just two of its 10 3-point attempts.
Jordan Shephard had a team-high 15 points for Cal, which had won two in a row after two season-opening defeats.
Andre Kelly added nine points and a team-high four rebounds for the Golden Bears, who hurt themselves with 18 turnovers.
Florida also had an advantage at the free throw line, where it connected on 18 of 21 (85.7 percent), whereas Cal made only 14 of its 21 attempts (66.7 percent).
Appleby (7-for-7) and Fleming (4-for-4) combined for much of the Gators' success at the line.
--Field Level Media