In what was expected to be the most anticipated game of the SEC regular season, the Kentucky Wildcats will head to Gainesville to take on the Gators. Kentucky is seeking a perfect season and has been running their opponents out of the gym as of late. In their previous two games, they defeated Georgia by 11 and Alabama by 15. It’s not much to say about the top ranked team in the country. They have been on everyone’s radar since the season began.
This is their opportunity to head into a hostile environment and prove how dominate they are. They come into the contest averaging 73.9 ppg, which is 47th best in the nation and 38.5 rebounds per game is 27th in the country.
Gators fans and the team will be in full force to pull of an upset. Florida comes in averaging 66.0 ppg. If they can play as a collective unit and utilize great team defense, they should be able to compete with UK and pull of the unthinkable. However, it has been more of a down season and this team is on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. They got off to a slow start in their previous game against Vanderbilt and eventually lost 67-61. After winning three straight games in the beginning of January, they went on to lose three straight the following three games.
Players to Watch: UK comes in with the blue and white units that each feature a key component. The Harrison twins should stand out in this match-up . Aaron is leading the team in scoring with 11 points per game. In his last game he only scored one point in 28 minuets. It just shows how much fire power that UK has on its team if the leading scorer can be virtually held scoreless and still win.
UF needs more than just one player to step up in this game. Michael Frazier II and Dorian Finney-Smith will have to play a major role in winning this game. They average 12 and 13 points respectively. They’ll have to play a classic guard game and avoid the tempting jump-shots in order to drive to the basket. Furthermore. they will have to draw fouls on the Kentucky bigs so that UF will have a chance to get to the line. The team will need to play inside-out, avoid the big mistakes, play tough defense and hold UK to one possession to pull of the upset.
The pick: Kentucky should win this game. It may be close at first but I expect UK to flex their muscle and dominate as the night wears on. This team is on a mission to win and whoever is in their path they expect to beat.
*Section Photo credit to Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Mark Zerof, USA Today Sports.