Florida to face Auburn in SEC tourney rematch

In the second round of the 2009 Southeastern Conference Tournament, the Auburn Tigers thrashed the Florida GatorsNCAA Tournament dreams, defeating them 61-58 in Tampa, FL. The Gators may have gotten some retribution against the Tigers with a 78-70 win on Feb. 18 in Gainesville, FL, but their chance for true redemption will come Thursday in Nashville, TN.

Florida (20-10, 9-6 SEC), the No. 4 seed in the East, will take on Auburn (15-16, 6-10 SEC), the No. 5 seed in the West, in game three of the first round of the 2010 SEC Tournament on March 11 at 7:30 p.m. The game will air live on the SEC Network – check your local listings.

The winner of the contest will move on to face the Mississippi State Bulldogs in round two on Fri., March 12 at 7:30 p.m. The Gators will need at least one SEC Tournament victory to have a chance at avoiding the NIT for the first time in three seasons. (Unless, of course, they defeat the No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday).

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FOUR BITS: Top 100, bracketology, SEC loss, track

1 » ESPN college football analyst Joe Schad took some time out to compile a 2010 Top 100 College Football Stars list featuring names you need to know going into next season. Among his 100, Schad listed four Florida Gators: redshirt sophomore quarterback John Brantley (19), freshman wide receiver Andre Debose (54), sophomore cornerback Janoris Jenkins (77) and redshirt sophomore running back Chris Rainey (88). Brantley was his eighth of 29 QBs, Debose was his eighth of 15 WRs, Jenkins was seventh of 10 DBs and Rainey was 19th of 21 RBs.

2 » Also from ESPN, bracketology expert Joe Lunardi has released his latest edition, and Florida remains a part of the projection. Lunardi has the Gators even after a close home loss to the No. 13/19 Vanderbilt Commodores Tuesday. He lists Florida as a No. 11 seed squaring off against the No. 6-seed Baylor Bears in first-round action in Buffalo, NY.

3 » Competing in 2010 Southeastern Conference Tournament first-round action Thursday, the No. 7-seed Gators women’s basketball team (14-16) fell 74-61 to the No. 10-seed Auburn Tigers (15-15). Senior guard Steffi Sorensen led the team with 14 points (12 in the first half), while senior forward Sharielle Smith contributed 11 points.

4 » Three members of Florida’s women’s track and field team were awarded end-of-season honors from the SEC Thursday. Head coach Mike Holloway was named Women’s Coach of the Year, senior jumper Shara Proctor won Women’s Field Athlete of the Year and sprinter Lanie Whittaker shared Women’s Freshman Runner of the Year. The ladies won the 2010 SEC Indoor Championship on Feb. 28.

Bubble Watch » Richmond (23-7), which beat the Gators 56-53 on Dec. 19, took down Dayton (19-10) 60-56. Dayton was on bubble and is now considered out of the running.

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TWO BITS: UF basketball updates, bubble watch

1 » The Orlando Sentinel‘s Andrea Adelson sat down with CBS college basketball analyst Seth Davis to pick his brain about the state of the Florida Gators. Saying the Gators are still “in pretty strong position for the tournament,” Davis dares the selection committee to “find me 34 at-large teams that are better.” He goes on to say that “the win over Tennessee helped [Florida] more than the loss to Georgia hurt them,” but indicates the team could probably make it in to the 2010 NCAA Tournament with a single win in the 2010 SEC Tournament.

Bubble Watch » Though the Gators dropped a heartbreaker to the No. 13 Vanderbilt Commodores Tuesday, their compadres on the bubble are seemingly doing their best to help keep Florida’s hopes alive. Auburn (15-15) took down Mississippi State (21-9) 89-80 Wednesday, Notre Dame (20-10) upped their stock but dropped UConn’s (17-13) with a 58-50 win and Florida State (21-8) did the same with a 51-47 victory over Wake Forest (18-9). On Tuesday, Ohio State (24-7) defeated Illinois (18-12) 73-57, Villanova (24-5) kept Cincinnati (16-13) down 77-73, UTEP (23-5) stung Marshall (22-8) 80-76, Michigan (14-15) dashed Minnesota’s (17-12) hopes 83-55, Marquette (20-9) routed Louisville (19-11) 69-48 and Clemson (21-8) took one from Georgia Tech (19-10) 91-80.

2 » Gators women’s basketball (14-15, 7-9 SEC) will open the 2010 SEC Women’s Tournament as a No. 7 seed taking on the No. 10-seed Auburn Tigers (14-15, 5-11 SEC) on Thursday at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, GA. The game, which will begin at or around 2:30 p.m., is a first-round contest whose winner will meet the No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats in the quarterfinals on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Florida is 15-29 all-time in the SEC Tournament and has not made the championship game since 1997.

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SIX BITS: SEC titles, softball sweep, gymnastics

1 » No. 3 Florida Gators women’s track and field won the 2010 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championship Sunday, its first since the 2004 season. Scoring 110 total points, the team was led by junior Charlotte Browning and senior Shara Proctor, who were named co-winners of the Cliff Harper Trophy for the SEC’s high-points scorer. The men’s team finished second at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, AR, as the home team Arkansas Razorbacks beat them out for the men’s crown 123-119. Both the women’s and men’s teams also captured numerous individual SEC titles over the weekend.

2 » No. 3/11 Gators softball (12-1) swept the Northwestern State Lady Demons (8-5) 15-0, 5-0 and 10-1 over the weekend at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, FL. Sophomore outfielder Michelle Moultrie powered Florida’s offense by going 5-8 (.625) with a double, triple, home run and six RBI, while junior OF Kelsey Bruder joined her with similar 5-8 performance for four runs, two homers, six RBI and 11 total bases. Junior pitcher Stephanie Brombacher (10-1) won each game of the series, striking out a combined 13 and only allowing three walks.

Read four more BITS on gymnastics, lacrosse, men’s tennis and Senior Day…
Continue Reading » SIX BITS: SEC titles, softball sweep, gymnastics

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Swimming finishes second at SEC Championships

Competing for four days in the Gabrielsen Natatorium at the University of Georgia, the No. 6 Florida Gators men’s and No. 7 women’s swimming and diving teams each finished in second place at the 2010 Southeastern Conference Championships. On the men’s side, the Auburn Tigers took first place by only 19 points (784-765), while the Georgia Bulldogs finished ahead of the Florida women by a larger margin (824.5-698).

Men’s coach Gregg Troy and women’s coach Donnie Craine led the Gators’ efforts all season long, bringing home recognition for themselves while assisting numerous student-athletes in reaching accolades of their own. The men’s and women’s teams combined for 14 SEC Championship titles (six and eight, respectively), two SEC records and six school records. Florida also earned 18 NCAA automatic qualifying marks/times.

2010 Florida SEC Awards
SEC Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year – Gregg Troy
SEC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year – Donnie Craine
SEC Men’s Swimmer of the Year – Conor Dwyer
SEC Women’s Swimmer of the Year – Gemma Spofforth
SEC Women’s Diver of the Year – Kara Salamone
Commissioner’s Trophy, High Point Award (Men’s) – Conor Dwyer, Shaune Fraser
Commissioner’s Trophy, High Point Award (Women’s) – Gemma Spofforth

Check out Florida’s numerous new SEC titles, SEC records, school records, NCAA qualifiers and more after the break!
Continue Reading » Swimming finishes second at SEC Championships

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Frontcourt leads Florida over Auburn in O’Dome

Led by a strong all-around effort from junior forward Chandler Parsons, the Florida Gators (18-8, 7-4 SEC) held on for a 78-70 victory over the Auburn Tigers (12-14, 3-8 SEC) Thursday evening at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

In a must-win game for the Gators, their frontcourt players stepped up from the get-go, scoring 42 of the team’s 78 points and amassing 23 of Florida’s 28 rebounds. Parsons, who led the Gators with a team-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting with five rebounds and four assists, had plenty of support from starting juniors F Alex Tyus (12 points, seven rebounds) and center Vernon Macklin (seven points, four rebounds). Surprisingly, it was Florida’s bench that truly made the difference as senior F Dan Werner went 3-for-5 for nine points and four boards and freshman F Erik Murphy contributed seven points on 3-of-3 shooting with three rebounds.

Read the rest of OGGOA’s Florida vs. Auburn game story after the jump!
Continue Reading » Frontcourt leads Florida over Auburn in O’Dome

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FOUR BITS: …on the Florida vs. Auburn game

1 » Florida Gators (17-8, 6-4) vs. Auburn TIgers (12-13, 3-7) Pre-Game:
Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 12,000]
Time: 7:00 p.m. (EST) | TV: ESPN | Online: ESPN360 | Odds: Florida -9, O/U 145

– Auburn leads the all-time series against Florida 87-68, though the Gators won 10 straight before falling to the Tigers in the 2009 SEC Tournament. Under head coach Billy Donovan, Florida is 13-4 against Auburn and 6-0 in the O’Dome.
– The Gators are 5-3 in games decided by five points or less compared to 4-6 in such games last season. Florida is 4-1 in the last five contests that were that close.
– UF is now 6-1 in conference play and 12-2 overall when out-rebounding an opponent.
– The Gators have been holding opponents to 58.8 points per game in their 17 wins while allowing the number to jump to 75.8 points per game in its eight losses.
– The Tigers are scoring 75.7 points per game with fourstarters averaging 13+ points.
– The dynamic backcourt of sophomore point guard Erving Walker and freshman guard Kenny Boynton is averaging 31.2 points and 7.5 assists in SEC play this season.
– Speaking of Walker and Boynton, they have hit 51 of the Gators’ 64 treys in SEC play. Walker has gone for 20+ points in five of 10 SEC games.
– Junior forward Alex Tyus is dominant the front court, scoring double figures in 14 of 16 games and 15+ in eight of those. Tyus had a career-high 15 rebounds last Wednesday.
– Junior F Chandler Parsons nearly completed three straight double-doubles and is averaging 15.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game over his last three contests.
– Double-digit scoring by redshirt junior center Vernon Macklin usually results in a victory. The Gators are 11-2 when he finishes in double figures. He had his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 boards against Xavier.
– Auburn guard DeWayne Reeds is fifth in the SEC in assists (4.3 per game).
– Tigers forward Lucas Hargrove averages 7.4 boards, sixth in the conference.

Florida must shoot better from the FT line and downtown while not looking ahead…
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: …on the Florida vs. Auburn game

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FOUR BITS: Gators take home four wins Friday

1 » After losing its opening match, the No. 4 Florida Gators gymnastics team (2-1, 2-0 SEC) won its second straight contest of the season Friday. Florida traveled to face the No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats (3-2, 1-2 SEC) in Lexington, KY, and took home a 196.05-195.35 victory at Memorial Coliseum. Freshman sensation Ashanée Dickerson won her third-straight all-around competition with a total of 39.25. Overall, the Gators finished the day with at least a share of four of five event titles. Florida continues its streak of facing ranked SEC opponents when it hosts the No. 16 LSU Tigers on Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. for the fourth annual Gators Link to Pink meet in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center to raise awareness about breast cancer.

Learn about three more big Gators victories, injury updates on a football and basketball player and David Lee’s season-high night after the jump…
Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Gators take home four wins Friday

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