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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Fastbreak: No. 3 Florida pulls away from No. 14 Kentucky 69-59 for huge win in Rupp Arena

No. 3 Florida Gators basketball (23-2, 12-0 SEC) pulled away late in the second half on Saturday evening extend their lead in Southeastern Conference play and defeat the No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats (19-6, 9-3 SEC) at Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY for the first time since 2007.

The Gators won their 17th-straight game, matching a school record set during the 2006-07 season, and picked up a victory for the 22st time in their last 23 contests. Florida has also started the season 12-0 in league play and put together the second-best start to a campaign in program history (24-2, 2006-07).

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

It was over when: With a four-point lead and less than three minutes to play, Gators senior point guard Scottie Wilbekin made a concerted effort to drive, get fouled and take free throws. He hit 5-of-6 in that span to help increase Florida’s lead from three to 10 points and solidify the victory.

Prominent players: Wilbekin and senior forward Casey Prather combined to score 47 of UF’s 69 points (68.1 percent) and were also extremely efficient shooters on the evening. Wilbekin scored a career-high 23 points by hitting 5-of-10 shots and 11-of-12 free throws (adding three boards, two assists and a steal), and Prather posted 24 points by making 8-of-9 baskets and going 8-for-12 from the line (adding four rebounds and four steals).

Check out the second half of The Fastbreak…after the break.
Continue Reading » Fastbreak: No. 3 Florida pulls away from No. 14 Kentucky 69-59 for huge win in Rupp Arena

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Gameday: No. 3 Florida Gators at No. 14 Kentucky

Location: Rupp Arena – Lexington, KY [Capacity: 23,500]
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Shannon Spake)
SiriusXM: 91 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: WatchESPN.com | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

(3) FLORIDA GATORS (14) KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Head Coach: Billy Donovan Head Coach: John Calipari
Record: 22-2 (11-0 SEC) Record: 19-5 (9-2 SEC)
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Southeastern
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida +2 | O/U: 130.5

HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS

» Kentucky leads Florida 94-34 in the all-time series with the Wildcats also holding a 24-14 mark over the Gators since Donovan took over the program. UF is 8-48 all-time on the road against UK (3-14 under Donovan) and has not won in Rupp Arena since 2007.
» Donovan is 2-8 against Calipari since he took over in Lexington.
» Calapari’s teams are 81-2 combined at home in Lexington.
» Both teams were featured on ESPN College GameDay with Florida making an appearance for the six time (five against Kentucky). UF is 4-0 on GameDay vs. UK including 1-0 in Rupp Arena.
» The Gators are currently riding a school-record 30-game home winning streak (second-longest in the nation). Florida extended a program record last Saturday by recording its 15th consecutive home win against league opponents.
» The Gators have opened league play with a 11-0 record for just the second time under Donovan, matching the school record for best SEC start set in 2007.
» Florida is on a 16-game winning streak, one victory shy of matching a school record, and has won 21 of its last 22 games dating back to Dec. 2.
» The Gators are 74-9 since the beginning of the 2011-12 season when holding an opponent under 71 points in a game.
» UF has started 22-2 through 24 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). In 2005-06, UF opened the season 20-2.
» Florida is 10-2 this season in single-digit decisions after going 0-6 in such contests during the 2012-13 campaign. UF is also 1-0 in overtime games.
» The Gators defeated top-15 teams in consecutive games for the fourth time in program history and first time ever in non-conference regular season play.
» Florida is 2-2 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.
» Kentucky is 1-3 against ranked opponents with all three losses in such games this season coming away from its home gym.
» The Gators are 6-2 in true road games this season.
» The Wildcats are 4-3 in true road games this season but also hold a 22-game home winning streak entering Saturday night’s contest.

UNIFORMS

» Florida will wear blue at Kentucky for the first time since UF added orange threads to its uniform rotation two seasons ago.
» UK will don these throwback uniforms, which it will wear for the first time.

Read the rest of the Florida-Kentucky preview…after the break!

Continue Reading » Gameday: No. 3 Florida Gators at No. 14 Kentucky

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Florida to tussle with Kentucky freshmen, Rupp

Saturday’s premier Southeastern Conference showdown will be billed as a battle of seniors and freshmen, and for good reason as the No. 3 Florida Gators start four of the former and the No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats boasted the top-ranked recruiting class heading into the 2013-14 season.

While Florida’s four seniors are the leaders for the team’s hot start (22-2, 11-0 SEC), Kentucky’s freshmen are basically all it has with the program’s record (19-5, 9-2 SEC) being a reflection of both the youngsters’ immense talent and relative inexperience.

All five of the Wildcats’ losses have come away from home with four being true road games. Three of those losses were to ranked opponents by a total of 14 points.

Gators head coach Billy Donovan is well-aware of the talented group he and his team are going up against on Saturday night.

“Probably top-to-bottom the most talented team in the country. You’re talking about every position that they’ve got on the floor there, they’ve got scoring ability, they’ve got size, they’ve got athleticism, they’ve got great length,” he said on Friday. “I think clearly from top to bottom this is maybe the most talented team in the country.”

Continue Reading » Florida to tussle with Kentucky freshmen, Rupp

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Florida women upset No. 6 Kentucky in Lexington

Florida Gators women’s basketball (12-4, 2-0 SEC) pulled off one of the biggest victories in program history on Sunday afternoon, hanging an 83-73 road defeat on the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats (13-2, 1-1 SEC) at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, KY.

Sunday’s victory broke a six-game losing streak for UF against UK and extended the Gators’ current winning streak to eight games, their longest since the 2008-09 season.

Florida won due to some tremendous play from its two backcourt stars.

Senior guard Jaterra Bonds, the reigning Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, led all players with a game-high 23 points on 6-of-14 shooting. She hit 10-of-12 free throws and also added six rebounds on the afternoon.

Freshman G Ronnie Williams posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 boards for Florida, going 9-for-13 from the field and registering two blocks in the contest.

Continue Reading » Florida women upset No. 6 Kentucky in Lexington

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FOUR BITS: Tebow, Wambach, Beal, Johnson

1 » A rash of quarterback injuries has shaken the NFL over the first half of the season, and there are also a number of floundering teams in serious need of a boost, but former Florida Gators signal caller Tim Tebow nevertheless remains a free agent. Sunday night, NFL.com‘s Mike Silver reported that the St. Louis Rams had “at least internally discussed the possibility of signing” Tebow though nothing was imminent and it was unlikely to happen. This report came after starting QB Sam Bradford was knocked out of Sunday’s game with a knee injury (he will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL). CBSSports.com‘s Jason LaCanfora later tweeted that the Rams have “no desire” to bring in Tebow and that head coach Jeff Fisher “would not consider it.” Instead, St. Louis will go with Kellen Clemens, a career 51.8 percent passer with seven passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions over eight seasons (including 12 starts). The biggest news story involving Tebow over the last few weeks included some shirtless pictures taken while he was on vacation with his family in Hawaii.

As Tebow hopes to have a future in football, it may be another sport entirely where he can make the greatest impact. According to TheMMQB.com, USA Rugby is extremely interested in having Tebow join the program and compete on behalf of the United States in the Olympics (assuming he picks up the sport well). Writer Jenny Vrentas crunches some numbers, with some help from a company named Atlantic Standard, and notes that Tebow’s athleticism is simply off the charts, which makes him a player the rugby community would covet.

Check out three more Florida Gators news BITS…after the break!

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Tebow, Wambach, Beal, Johnson

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Gators RB Jones breaks out with career game

When Florida Gators sophomore running back Matt Jones was laid up in a hospital bed a number of weeks ago recovering from a serious viral infection, doubt crept into his mind as to whether he would ever get back to form this season.

It took him weeks of check-ups, blood tests and the like just to get on the practice field and more than two full weeks of practice until he saw game action.

That came against Miami on Sept. 7 when he averaged 2.6 yards per carry and coughed up a fumble. He played better two weeks later when Florida hosted Tennessee, scoring a touchdown and averaging 4.1 yards per touch, but fumbled for a second time in as many games.

Jones admitted after Saturday’s contest that he was not physically ready to play in either of those games. He kept telling himself that he was healthy and ready to go, but he was only about 70-80 percent at UM and a bit better than that against UT.

Though he still looked a step slow and did not have his normal burst during the Gators’ 24-7 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats, Jones put together a career game he should remember for quite some time. He took a career-high 28 carries for a career-high 176 yards, averaging 6.3 yards per rush and scoring a touchdown, and also grabbed three receptions for 20 yards.

“I’d say I’m about 95 percent right now,” he said afterwards. “That’s what I grind[ed] for all offseason. Definitely missing camp kind of took me off track. But this is what I was really grinding for, just games like this.”

Continue Reading » Gators RB Jones breaks out with career game

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