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.

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

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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

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

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2015 SEC Tournament Gameday: Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats – Third time a charm?

Location: Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, Tennessee [Capacity: 19,395]
Time: 1:00 p.m. EDT

TV: SEC Network (Brad Nessler, Sean Farnham, Shannon Spake)
Streaming Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: Watch ESPN app

SiriusXM: 93/190 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(8) FLORIDA GATORS (1) KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: John Calipari
Record: 16-16 (8-10 SEC) Record: 31-0 (18-0 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern

Odds: Florida +13.5

THIRD TIME MAY NOT BE A CHARM FOR FLORIDA

Florida has already dropped two games to Kentucky this season – both by significant margins – though that is not to say the Gators were not competitive in each contest.

In a seven-point home loss to UK, UF led for nearly the entire first half and were up two on the nation’s top team with 12:17 left in the game. The contest remained close with the Wildcats holding just a two-point lead with 1:05 to play. From there, the visitors outscored the hosts 7-2 with all seven points coming at the line.

Kentucky’s win in Rupp Arena was more decisive. Florida trailed by just three with 10:30 to play, but UK outscored UF 23-9 over the remainder of the contest as the Gators made just three field goals in that span.

In other words, Florida knows exactly what it is going up against on Friday.

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Gameday: Florida Gators at No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats – Unique chance for late signature win

Location: Rupp Arena – Lexington, Kentucky [Capacity: 23,000]
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST

TV: CBS (Ian Eagle, Doug Gottlieb)
Streaming Video: CBSSports.com | Mobile Video: CBS Sports app

SiriusXM: 91/83 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

FLORIDA GATORS No. 1 KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: John Calipari
Record: 15-15 (8-9 SEC) Record: 30-0 (17-0 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern

Odds: Florida +16

HISTORY, STATS AND STREAKS

» Kentucky owns the all-time series against Florida with a 95-37 record over its rival, though the Gators have been more competitive under Donovan with the Wildcats holding just a 25-17 edge.
» UF has not had much success at Rupp Arena with UK going 48-9 all-tie on its home court, 14-4 against Donovan-coached teams.
» Last season, Florida became the first team in SEC history to go 18-0 in league play during the regular season; Kentucky is looking to become the second, ending Saturday’s game at 17-0.
» The Gators are 2-11 all-time against No. 1-ranked opponents, 2-0 in the NCAA Tournament and 0-11 against the Wildcats with all 11 of those meetings coming in the regular season. UF has never beaten a No. 1-ranked team in the regular season.

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Gameday: Florida Gators vs. No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats – Enormous test on a national stage

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas, Shannon Spake)
Streaming Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app

SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

FLORIDA GATORS No. 1 KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: John Calipari
Record: 12-10 (5-4 SEC) Record: 22-0 (9-0 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern

Odds: Florida +8.5

COLLEGE GAMEDAY

ESPN’s College GameDay will be live from Gainesville for the fourth time in the basketball version of the program’s history – first since 2011. The Gators have been either the host or visitor at the show’s location six times prior, holding a 5-1 record in those games with a perfect 3-0 mark at home in the O’Dome. Five of those previous six contests have come against the Wildcats.

The program will have a taped portion on ESPNU at 10 a.m. followed by a live one-hour show ahead of the day of college basketball at 11 a.m. on ESPN. There will also be a live one-hour pre-game show on ESPN starting at 8 p.m.

Rece Davis hosts with Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams all on set. Dan Shulman, Bilas and sideline reporter Shannon Spake will call the game. There will also be an announcer-free version of Saturday night’s contest on ESPN3.com.

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FOUR BITS: Nelson, Donovan, gymnastics, Foley

1 » New York Jets wide receiver David Nelson made headlines Monday by tweeting out a picture of himself teaching Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo how to throw an American football while the Portuguese National Team was working out at the training facility. But Nelson would not have even been at practice had he not been cleared by the Jets after being quarantined away from the team. Nelson, who does a ton of charity work in the offseason, got back from Haiti a few weeks ago but came down with a major illness – 104-degree fever and strep throat – after getting bit by a mosquito while out of the country. He rejoined his teammates last week and is now fighting for the No. 2 wideout job. Coming back in 2013 after tearing his ACL in the first game of 2012, Nelson bounced around before landing with the Jets. Catching passes from rookie quarterback Geno Smith, Nelson finished with 36 receptions for 423 yards and two touchdowns.


Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Nelson, Donovan, gymnastics, Foley

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Gameday – 2014 SEC Tournament Championship: No. 1 Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Location: Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA [Capacity: 26,000]
Time: 3:15 p.m. EDT

TV: ESPN (Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes, Shannon Spake)
SiriusXM: 108/199 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: GameWatchESPN.com | TrophyWatchESPN.com
Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(1) FLORIDA GATORS KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: John Calipari
Record: 31-2 Record: 24-9
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -6 | O/U: OFF

HISTORY, STATS AND STREAKS

» The Gators won the outright 2014 SEC regular-season title earned the No. 1 overall seed in the SEC Tournament, earning two byes and playing its first game Friday in quarterfinal action. The championship is the program’s second-straight title, third in the last four seasons, seventh overall and fifth outright.
» The Wildcats advanced to the finals after pulling off a 70-58 victory over Georgia.
» UF is 40-45 all-time in the SEC Tournament with a 25-14 record under Donovan and three-straight SEC Tournament Championships from 2005-07. The Gators are 3-6 in their nine SEC Tournament finals appearances, 3-3 under Donovan.
» Kentucky leads Florida 94-36 in the all-time series with the Wildcats also holding a 24-16 mark over the Gators since Donovan took over the program. UF is 3-8 all-time in neutral site games against UK (1-3 under Donovan).
» Donovan is 4-8 against Calipari after winning in three of their last four meetings.
» The Gators defeated the Wildcats 69-59 on Feb. 15 in Lexington, KY and 84-65 on March 8 in Gainesville, FL. Florida is looking to beat Kentucky three times in a single season for the first time in history. UK has not lost thrice in the same season to a team since 1979 (Tennessee).
» UF enters Saturday’s tournament final on a program-record 25-game winning streak and at 18-0 have set a school mark for most conference wins in a single season. Its 29 wins were also the most the Gators have captured in a single regular season. Florida has won 30 of its last 31 games.
» The Gators are the first team in SEC history to go 18-0 in league play. UF is also the first team from a major conference, since Indiana in 1976, to go 18-0 in league play.
» Florida has gone two-straight seasons without losing at home, holding a 32-0 record since the start of the 2012-13 campaign (17-0 in conference games).
» The Gators have won nine-straight SEC road games, also a program record.
» Florida is 82-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding an opponent under 71 points in a game.
» UF is 14-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign. Florida is also 1-0 in overtime games.
» The Gators are 11-2 in true road games this campaign with both losses coming against ranked opponents during the first month of the season. Florida lost those contests by a combined seven points. UF is also 4-0 in neutral-site games this campaign.
» 2013-14 was the first time that Florida has ended the regular season ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation. The Gators have achieved a No. 1 ranking in four separate seasons and currently hold a 20-5 record playing as the top team in the country.
» Florida’s senior class is the first in school history to win three SEC championships.
» The Gators have won 30+ games prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

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Senior Day: No. 1 Florida Gators (28-2, 17-0 SEC) vs. No. 25 Kentucky Wildcats

Location: Stephen C. O’Connell Center – Gainesville, FL [Capacity: 11,548]
Time: 12:00 p.m. EST

TV: CBS (Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: CBSSports.com | Mobile Video: CBS Sports app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(1) FLORIDA GATORS (25) KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: John Calipari
Record: 28-2 (17-0 SEC) Record: 22-8 (12-5 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -9 | O/U: OFF

HISTORY, STATS AND STREAKS

» The Gators won the outright 2014 SEC regular-season title and clinched the No. 1 overall seed in the SEC Tournament last Thursday after Kentucky lost and gave UF a four-game lead in the league standings with three contests left to play. It is the program’s second-straight title, third in the last four seasons, seventh overall and fifth outright.
» Kentucky leads Florida 94-35 in the all-time series with the Wildcats also holding a 24-15 mark over the Gators since Donovan took over the program. UF is 23-33 all-time at home against UK but is 10-7 in the O’Dome under Donovan.
» Donovan is 3-8 against Calipari since the latter coachtook over in Lexington.
» The Gators defeated the Wildcats 69-59 on Feb. 15 in Lexington, KY.
» UF enters Saturday’s regular-season finale on a program-record 22-game winning streak and at 17-0 have set a school mark for most conference wins in a single season. Its 28 wins are also the most the Gators have captured in a single season.
» Florida is the second team in SEC history to hold a 17-0 mark in league play. If the Gators win on Saturday, they will become the first team to finish 18-0 in the league.
» Florida is also on two school-record home winning streaks – 31-straight overall and 16-in-a-row against league opponents.
» The Gators at 28-2 (17-0 SEC) have set a program mark for best overall start to a season. UF has also won 27 of its last 28 games.
» Florida has won nine-straight SEC road games, also a program record.
» The Gators are 79-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding an opponent under 71 points in a game.
» UF is 13-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign. Florida is also 1-0 in overtime games.
» The Gators are 11-2 in true road games this campaign with both losses coming against ranked opponents during the first month of the season. UF lost those contests by a combined seven points.
» This marks the latest in a regular season that Florida has been ranked No. 1 nationally. The Gators have achieved a No. 1 ranking in four separate seasons and are 18-5 playing as the top team in the country.
» Florida’s senior class is the first in school history to win three SEC championships.

Continue Reading » Senior Day: No. 1 Florida Gators (28-2, 17-0 SEC) vs. No. 25 Kentucky Wildcats

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