Tennessee-Florida: Bruce Pearl Owns Billy Donovan

JESSI SHARPECorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2009

Tennessee beat Florida tonight, in a convincing fashion, 79-63. Going in, 77 percent percent of the people that voted on the outcome of the Tennessee-Florida game said the Vols would lose, according the poll on this article.

Well apparently these people don't know that in the seven games Tennessee has played Florida with Bruce Pearl at the helm, they are 6-1. The lone win in the series was a 94-78 game in Gainesville during the 2006-2007 season. Of course, Chris Lofton was not in that game either.

It's understandable with the Gators coming in on a SEC 6 game win streak and the problems Tennessee has had all year why people would vote they way they would.  Which brings the question do some teams styles just work better against certain teams? 

Was this the team that was ranked so high in top 25 at the beginning of the season? Did Florida just have an off night? All these are good questions, but I just think Pearl has got Donavan's number.

The evidence is overwhelming. Tennessee averages 85 points to Florida's 78 in the series. Which means there have actually been some close games, but this ain't horseshoes so it really doesn't count does it? The Vols have went 4-0 at home and are 2-1 in Gainesville which isn't easy to do. 

Speaking of the 2006-2007 if Greg Oden wouldn't have been the country's golden boy that year and actually got called for fouls, Tennessee would have beaten Ohio State in the Sweet 16 and probably advanced to play in the national championship against Florida. 

Who do you actually think would have won that game? Wow, and we thought Pearl's raise was big last year. 

Florida may get their revenge in Gainesville later on but as Tennessee learned against Gonzaga this year, when a team has got your number it doesn't matter if you play them twice.  This wasn't even a close game, as Tennessee was up as many as 21 in the second half. Sure the pesky Gators made a run, but that halted in the last three minutes. 

No one can tell me Billy Donovan is not a little frustrated by the outcome of this series. Then again, he also has 2 championships in a short time in Gainesville.  All Bruce Pearl has is two Sweet-16 appearances. At the same time, Bruce has got Donovan in career winning percentage at .784 to .703. 

It can't be denied the SEC has looked weak this year, but however there is no way that any one of these teams wont be feared come tournament time. The rest of the nation needs to hope that they didn't see the real Tennessee tonight.

As far as Florida, well we have all seen what a Billy Donovan team can do in the NCAA tournament. 

At the end of the season Florida will look to be the better team most likely. They will probably advance further in the tournament.  Just remember though, the next time you go to vote for a winner in this head to head match up that BRUCE PEARL OWNS BILLY DONOVAN.