How renovations to the Stephen C. O’Connell center will affect students and fans at home

In January, the Florida Gators announced a renovation seating plan for the Stephen C. O’Connell Center that will feature a variety of changes for fans. Of primary importance is new new chairback seating throughout the entire arena (reducing capacity by nearly 1,000 seats) and a center-hung scoreboard that should provide better replay viewing angles.

Florida describes the soon-to-be-renovated O’Dome as a “new building from the walls in,” but while it will most certainly be different for Gator Boosters and some season ticket holders, not much is changing in terms of how students will view the game.

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Fastbreak: Devin Robinson shines as Florida Gators hold on to beat Ole Miss 77-72

Coming off one of its worst performances of the season, Florida Gators basketball needed to get back to its winning ways and did just that, taking down the Ole Miss Rebels for the second time this season as Florida head coach Mike White began his Gators career 2-0 against his alma mater.

Florida (16-8, 7-4 SEC) proved once again that it plays much better at home, leading most of Tuesday night’s contest at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida, and holding on for a 77-72 victory even though it did plenty wrong throughout the contest. Ole Miss (15-9, 5-6 SEC) did not do itself many favors in the game, but the Rebels did push the Gators late and did not let them skate to a victory like they did a couple weeks ago in Oxford, Mississippi.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Tuesday’s close win with six quick-hitters.

It was over when: Sophomore forward Devin Robinson was found wide open with five seconds left in the game and slammed home a dunk to push Florida ahead by five just a couple ticks after Ole Miss made an easy layup to cut their deficit to three. The game should have been over when freshman guard KeVaughn Allen drained a dagger three with 52 seconds to play, but the visitors kept it close with four straight points by Tomasz Gielo inside of 13 seconds.

Continue Reading » Fastbreak: Devin Robinson shines as Florida Gators hold on to beat Ole Miss 77-72

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Florida’s social media team turns Gators basketball into ‘NBA Jam’ video game

Few would argue that Florida Gators redshirt sophomore forward John Egbunu already makes dunks like he’s playing in “NBA Jam,” so it made logical sense to show fans exactly what the rest of the team would look like if they were inside the popular video game.

Promoting a 90s night set to be held Tuesday during Florida’s game against Ole Miss at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center (9 p.m. ET, ESPNU), the Gators unveiled a few video clips in which they added “NBA Jam” graphics to real Florida highlights.

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Fastbreak: Florida Gators continue to show bi-polar nature in 80-61 drubbing by Kentucky

Just one week after pulling out a signature win and appearing as if they had finally turned the corner, the Florida Gators (15-8, 6-4 SEC) proved they are still the inconsistent, two-faced team that had played the first 22 games of the 2015-16 season. On the road against the No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats (17-6, 7-4 SEC) at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, Florida played one of its worst games of the season while allowing Kentucky to put together one of its best.

In doing so, the Gators fell to 1-5 against AP Top 25 teams this season and threw out an opportunity to find a spot in the bottom of the poll. Though UF’s chances to earn an NCAA Tournament bid did not take a major hit, the team’s ego most likely did as it pumped up that of UK and once again fell both on the road and against one of the best opponents its faced this season.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Saturday’s tough loss with nsix quick-hitters.

It was over when: The second half began. Though the Gators cut the Wildcats’ massive first-half lead down in the first 20 minutes (see below), Florida was simply unable to hold on and allowed Kentucky to go up 18 at the break. UF did not have much success stopping UK at the start of the second half either as the Wildcats scored eight straight points right out of the gate to take a game-high 26 point lead and make a comeback nearly impossible. The Gators did chip away at the large lead, cutting it to 14 as the hosts went 0-for-8 from the floor, but the Wildcats had no problem holding on.

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Gameday – Florida Gators at Kentucky Wildcats: What to know, how to watch, game picks

Some out-of-nowhere hot shooting has led Florida Gators basketball to a 5-1 record in its last six games, including a victory at home over a top-25 opponent. But can the Gators measure up to their Southeastern Conference rivals on the road in one of the most hostile environments in college basketball?

Florida’s surge will be tested Saturday against the No. 19/20 Kentucky Wildcats, which are coming off rare back-to-back losses and still looking to find the right mix of players during another infamous quick rebuild that includes a ton of high-tier freshman talent. The Gators will look to continue their charge as the Wildcats try to get back in the swing of things at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.

Here’s a look ahead at the game: what to know and how to watch Florida-Kentucky.

Viewing information

Location: Rupp Arena – Lexington, Kentucky [Capacity: 23,000]
Time: 4 p.m. ET

TV: CBS (Spero Dedes, Bill Raftery)
Streaming Video: CBSSports.com
Mobile Video: CBS Sports app (iPhone | Android)
SiriusXM: 132/192 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

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Florida Gators men’s, women’s basketball both surprising, surging at just the right time

Don’t look now, but Florida Gators men’s basketball might be on the cusp of turning things around after a very difficult final year under Billy Donovan. Oh, and the Florida women’s basketball team? It’s in the process of what could potentially be the best season in program history.

Before the 2015-16 season began, new Gators coach Mike White was careful not to predict much success for his team, especially considering he’d only spent so much time with his players during offseason practices.

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Fastbreak: Gators earn needed signature win as Florida obliterates No. 9 West Virginia 88-71

In desperate need of a signature win, Florida Gators basketball got just that on Saturday, defeating a top-10 opponent for the first time in 13 tries with a dominant 88-71 victory over the No. 9 West Virginia Mountaineers at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Florida (14-7) put together a dominant offensive performance for the second time in three games as it rained threes and was extremely efficient from the charity stripe. West Virginia (17-4) simply could not get back into the game after a hot start for the Gators.

OnlyGators.com breaks down Saturday’s important win with nine quick-hitters:

It was over when: Though Florida held the lead for 39:49 of the 40-minute contest and was up by nearly 20 late in the game, West Virginia had its opportunities to come back. It was not until a dagger three-pointer by sophomore guard Chris Chiozza with 2:35 to play that all hope was lost for the visitors. The Gators jumped ahead 84-67 and scored eight-straight points to earn a game-high 21-point advantage with 1:03 to play. Chiozza finished 4-of-8 from the field and 2-for-3 from downtown with 10 points, six assists and two steals, though he did cough up the ball a team-high six times.

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Gameday – Big 12/SEC Challenge – Florida Gators vs. No. 9 West Virginia: How to watch, game picks

Florida Gators basketball has struggled against the best teams its faced this season. On Saturday, it faces its toughest test of the 2015-16 campaign (as well as its last nonconference game until a potential postseason run) when it hosts the No. 9 West Virginia Mountaineers as part of the 2016 Big 12/SEC Challenge at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Here’s a look ahead at the game: what to know and how to watch Florida-West Virginia.

Viewing information

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 12 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN (Mark Jones, Kara Lawson)
Streaming Video: WatchESPN.com
Mobile Video: Watch ESPN app (iPhone) / (Android)
SiriusXM: 84 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Continue Reading » Gameday – Big 12/SEC Challenge – Florida Gators vs. No. 9 West Virginia: How to watch, game picks

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