Florida Gators end 2013-14 season ranked No. 3

The Florida Gators (36-3) were bumped down to No. 3 in the final 2013-14 edition of the USA Today Coaches’ Poll after falling on Saturday to the eventual national champion and new No. 1-ranked Connecticut Huskies (32-8) in the Final Four of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

UF entered the tournament as the No. 1 team in the country and earned the event’s top overall seed, advancing to the Final Four for the first time since 2007 but falling two wins short of the national championship. UConn earned its second victory over Florida this season on the way to its title.

Kentucky (29-11) checked at No. 2 – and even received a first-place vote from the coaches – after falling 60-54 in the title game. The Gators beat the Wildcats three times with Florida winning those games by an average of 10 points.

The Gators at 36-3 finished the 2013-14 season with the best record in program history. Florida also swept the Southeastern Conference Championships, winning the regular-season title for the seventh time and tournament crown for the fourth time.

UF finished 9-3 against teams in the final top 25.


Via TheBigLead.com

Florida’s opponents in italics. Wins in blue; losses in red.

USA TODAY COACHES’ POLL
This Week 1-5: UConn (30), Kentucky (1), Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona
6-10: Michigan, Wichita State, Michigan State, Louisville, Virginia
11-15: Iowa State, San Diego State, Villanova, Kansas, UCLA
16-20: Duke, Syracuse, Baylor, Dayton, Creighton
21-25: North Carolina, Cincinnati, Tennessee, Stanford, Saint Louis

Check out the Gators’ week-to-week top 25 rankings…after the break!
Continue Reading » Florida Gators end 2013-14 season ranked No. 3

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FOUR BITS: UConn wins, One Shining Moment, Orange & Blue Debut, Gator Growl

1 » Two days after eliminating the (1) Florida Gators in the Final Four of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the (7) Connecticut Huskies went on to win the entire thing, claiming the national championship with a wire-to-wire 60-54 win over the (8) Kentucky Wildcats. UConn’s victory was a fitting end to the 2013-14 season for Florida, which saw one of only two teams to hand it a loss during the campaign capture the title as opposed to a team in Kentucky that it beat three times in a single season.

2 » The 2013-14 incarnation of CBS‘s famous One Shining Moment tournament recap featurette included six appearances by the Gators starting with a little girl doing the Gator Chomp at the beginning. Senior center Patric Young was shown three times, first at “the ball is tipped” (0:25), then for his big block against Pittsburgh (1:39) and finally on a dunk (1:47). Senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin‘s halftime buzzer-beater three-pointer against Pittsburgh was not included, but he was shown celebrating afterward (2:10). UF was also in the video on a play in which it got dunked on by UConn.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: UConn wins, One Shining Moment, Orange & Blue Debut, Gator Growl

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Fastbreak: No. 1 Florida Gators top Kentucky 61-60, win SEC Tournament Championship

Leading from wire-to-wire despite seeing its lead cut to one late in the contest, No. 1 Florida Gators basketball (32-2) won its 26th-straight game and captured the 2014 Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship with a 61-60 win over the Kentucky Wildcats (24-10) at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA.

With the victory, Florida swept the SEC titles for the first time since 2007, won its fourth SEC Tournament title and swept Kentucky 3-0 in a single season for the first time in school history. The Gators have also won 31 of their last 32 games.

OnlyGators.com breaks it all down with eight quick-hitters:

It was over when: After missing the front end of consecutive one-and-one chances with 23 seconds remaining, Florida played superb defense against Kentucky on the game’s final possession. The Gators led by one point with 14 seconds left and were able to hold off the Wildcats as James Young slipped and lost the ball after receiving a pass from Aaron Harrison in hopes of taking the game’s final shot.

Prominent players: The Gators had a different player step up in each half with sophomore guard Michael Frazier II scoring 11 of Florida’s first 12 points and senior center Patric Young lighting up in the second half with nine points of his own. The players combined to shoot 11-for-17 from the field, each finishing with 14 points and five boards. Young added three blocks.

Significant stretch: Florida led by 15 with 11:03 to play, but Kentucky finally found an answer with a 14-0 run to nearly erase the Gators’ advantage, leaving it at just one point with 6:16 to play. UF went scoreless for a stretch of 5:55 during UK’s run, ending it with a three from Frazier. Florida never lost its lead, however, with the Gators earning a wire-to-wire victory over the Wildcats.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: No. 1 Florida Gators top Kentucky 61-60, win SEC Tournament Championship

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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.

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

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Donovan praises Gators, crowd; Florida seniors step up in crunch time; SEC Tournament set

The No. 1 Florida Gators (29-2, 18-0 SEC) left the Stephen C. O’Connell Center having completed the greatest regular season in school history and with the most accomplished senior class in the history of the program.

Head coach Billy Donovan spoke the media after his team’s 84-65 victory over the No. 25 Kentucky Wildcats (22-9, 12-6 SEC).

”THE GREATEST REGULAR SEASON I’VE EVER BEEN A PART OF”

Donovan began his post-game press conference by stating matter-of-factly how proud he is of the Gators and the way they performed all season long despite being met with plenty of adversity along the way.

“I think the first thing is, for me as a coach, it’s the greatest regular season I’ve ever been a part of,” he said. “What these guys have done, going all the way back to the second game of the year at Wisconsin with obviously a depleted roster and then going to UConn and losing both point guards in that game and having to play a lot of our non-conference schedule somewhat banged up, guys not there. And then obviously having to battle through some injuries throughout league play.

“But their consistency and the way these guys have performed, to win 18 games in a row in this league, it’s never happened before. … These guys have done a remarkable job. And certainly happy for our four seniors, the way it ended for them and obviously the way they played. Just the regular season has been great. Hopefully we can decompress a little bit, get a little time here and get ready for the next step in Atlanta.”

With that, Donovan also expressed that he also could not be “any prouder of a team striving to be better and better each day.” However, he did note that he has mixed emotions about the concept of Senior Day and how it can impact a team heading into an important game like UF’s on Saturday.

Continue Reading » Donovan praises Gators, crowd; Florida seniors step up in crunch time; SEC Tournament set

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Fastbreak: No. 1 Florida makes history, finishes 18-0 in SEC play with 84-65 win over Kentucky

History was made on Saturday as the No. 1 Florida Gators (29-2, 18-0 SEC) became the first team ever to go 18-0 in Southeastern Conference play, routing the No. 25 Kentucky Wildcats (22-9, 12-6 SEC) on Senior Day at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL.

Florida topped Kentucky 84-65, leading by as many as 22 points in the first half and winning by 19 despite allowing a 15-0 run in the latter period.

The 19-point victory was UF’s largest margin in its all-time series against UK. The Gators are now undefeated at home (32-0) over the last two seasons, have won 23-straight games and 17-in-a-row at home over league opponents.

OnlyGators.com breaks it all down with eight quick-hitters:

It was over when: Senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin drained a monster three-pointer seemingly from Ocala, FL with less than three minutes to play, vaulting Florida ahead of Kentucky by 17 and icing the contest for the Gators. He was UF’s third-leading scorer on the afternoon, posting 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting (2-of-2 from downtown) with four assists and three boards.

Prominent player: Senior center Patric Young went scoreless for the first 14 minutes of the second half, but his 14 first-half points and 18 total points were both highs for the Gators on Saturday. The 18 points were also a season-high for Young, who hit 8-of-13 shots and finished with a team-high seven boards.

Significant stretch: With UF dominating UK, the Wildcats finally responded by scoring on eight-straight possessions early in the second half. Kentucky went on a 15-0 run to cut their deficit to six points as Florida went scoreless for 5:36, making Saturday’s contest a game when it looked to be a blowout.

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: No. 1 Florida makes history, finishes 18-0 in SEC play with 84-65 win over Kentucky

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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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No. 3 Florida at No. 14 Kentucky post-game report: Gators continue historic run with win at Rupp

No. 3 Florida Gators basketball (23-2, 12-0 SEC) came through when it mattered most – late in the second half – to pull off a 69-59 victory over the No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats (19-6, 9-3 SEC) at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY. Following the win, head coach Billy Donovan met with the media to discuss the contest and his team’s big road victory.

HISTORY, STATS AND STREAKS

» Florida beat Kentucky on the road for just the ninth time in 58 tries. Gators teams coached by Donovan are now 15-24 against the Wildcats and 4-14 in Rupp Arena, where UF won on Saturday for the first time since 2007.
» Donovan handed UK head coach John Calipari his third home loss in five seasons (81-3) and is now 3-8 overall against his SEC East rival.
» Florida is now 5-0 against Kentucky when the teams are featured on ESPN’s College GameDay (2-0 in Lexington).
» The Gators have opened SEC play 12-0, setting a program record for best start in league play.
» Florida is on a 17-game winning streak, tying a school record, and has won 21 of its last 22 games. UF has not lost since Dec. 2, 2013.
» The Gators are 75-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding an opponent under 71 points in a game.
» UF has started 23-2 through 25 games for the second time in school history. The first time the Gators achieved that mark, they won the national title (24-2, 2006-07).
» Florida has now defeated three top-15 teams this season.
» The Gators are is 3-2 against ranked opponents this season with both losses coming in true road games and the victories occurring in a home contest and neutral-site game.
» Florida is 7-2 in true road games this season.

Continue Reading » No. 3 Florida at No. 14 Kentucky post-game report: Gators continue historic run with win at Rupp

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