Kentucky travels to Gainesville Saturday to take on the Gators for their senior day game. The Cats are coming off a hard fought, but a less than impressive 55-48 win over Alabama, but a win none the less and one they absolutely had to have. With that win, Kentucky clenched the two seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament which gives them a two round bye.
Florida is having one helluva season with an impressive record of 28-2 (17-0 SEC) and is playing as well or better than anyone in the country right now winning 22 games in a row which is a school record. The Gators are coming off a 72-46 throttling of South Carolina, the same South Carolina that beat Kentucky by a score of 72-67 last week.
Once again, this is an important game for the Cats, but not a "MUST WIN" like some would have you think. Sure, a win would do wonders for Kentucky's NCAA Tournament resume, but a loss wouldn't hurt that bad.... as long as it's not a blow out. This game has all the makings to see Kentucky get run off the floor, something they will have to avoid. A complete blowout and the wheels very well could come off this team (making very hard to see this team making a deep tourney run ) as they are struggling with confidence and identity, something they have had trouble with all season long. I'm not saying Kentucky couldn't pull the upset tomorrow, but nothing they have done over the last couple of weeks would lead you to believe that a win is possible.
Here's a look at a comparison between the Gators and their opponents this season to give you some idea of what to expect come tomorrow afternoon...
It's hard to narrow down which players Kentucky will have to concentrate on as the Gators have so many weapons this season, but one thing is for sure. As usual, they will have to stop the three point shot tomorrow as the Gators have several guys who shoot the three ball at a clip of 39% or better, and for the love of all that is good and pure STOP MICHAEL FRAZIER II. After Frazier's RIDICULOUS scoring outburst against the Gamecocks (37 points hitting 11-18 from three point range) he will have to contained for the Cats to have even a prayer of winning this one. He's not the only one you have to worry about, theres Scottie Wilbekin, Patrick Young, Casey Prather and pretty much everyone else that wears the Florida uniform. This will be on heck of a test for a Kentucky team that has struggled pretty much all season long. It will be interesting to see how the Cats respond to a team as good as Florida in an atmosphere like the O'Connell Center where the Gators have won a program best 31 straight games.
The Cats and Gators have had a pretty intense rivalry over the years, but still the Cats lead the all-time series with a record of 94-35. Since the arrival of Billy Donovan, the Gators are 15-24 in games against the Cats with a record of 10-7 in the O'Connell Center (23-33 all time). Here's a look at all the games between the Cats and Gators with Billy Donovan on the sidelines...
It's hard to believe that tomorrow is the last game of the regular season. It seems like it was only a month ago that BBN was was setting up "tent city" in anticipation of Big Blue Madness. This season may not have gone the way most Kentucky fans had envisioned (me included), but it has been one helluva ride regardless. Regardless of how Kentucky ends it's season, it has been a blast watching these guys play. Here's to hoping for a WIN tomorrow afternoon... C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS!!!!!!! GO BIG BLUE!!!!!