The No. 6-ranked Florida Gators will travel west to take on bitter rival Florida State in a non-conference matchup on Wednesday night.
Billy Donovan's Gators have won their first six games in impressive fashion this season, while Leonard Hamilton's Seminoles have been significantly underachieving in 2012-13. Florida State has dropped its last two games overall, and three of seven to start the year.
Here we get you set with everything you need to know for Wednesday night's nationally televised showdown in Tallahassee.
Where: Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Fla.
When: Wednesday, December 5 at 7 p.m. ET
Listen: 103.7 FM (Gainesville), 100.7 FM (Tallahassee)
Betting Line: TBA
With Florida having yet to play a close game, expect the oddsmakers to favor the Gators by a handful of points over reeling Florida State on the road.
Injuries (according to USA Today)
No significant injuries to report.
Florida Starting Five (based on last game)
G Scottie Wilbekin
G Kenny Boynton
G Mike Rosario
F Will Yeguete
F-C Erik Murphy
Florida State Starting Five (based on last game)
G Montay Brandon
G Terry Whisnant II
G Michael Snaer
F Okaro White
C Kiel Turpin
What They're Saying
The Twitter account for OnlyGators.com points out that the Gators are all the way up to No. 6 in the current AP Top 25 poll:
Florida #Gators basketball in at No. 6 in the new AP Top 25, gaining nearly 100 voting points.— OnlyGators.com (@onlygators) December 3, 2012
The Gators have won all six of their games so far this season, the narrowest margin being a 13-point win over Central Florida last month.
Across the state, things haven't been going so well for the Seminoles, who lost to the Atlantic Sun's Mercer this past weekend, as SI.com college hoops writer Andy Glockner points out via Twitter:
Really bad Sunday for Florida State. No, not getting stuck with NIU in the Orange Bowl. Losing at home to Mercer in basketball.— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) December 3, 2012
After Sunday's meltdown, Florida State now has three home losses to Mercer, Minnesota and South Alabama. Clearly, Florida State's Orange Bowl matchup is the least of the school's worries.
Florida Player to Watch: Erik Murphy
Gators big man Erik Murphy has developed into one of Florida's best players this season. The 6'10" senior is the team's second-leading scorer through six games, averaging 12.3 points per game on 55 percent shooting from the field.
Murphy is a versatile forward-center as well, shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc this season. His 11 made three-pointers are second only to Kenny Boynton's 13 this season.
Florida State Player to Watch: Michael Snaer
Michael Snaer is the Seminoles' leading scorer this season, averaging 14.1 points per game, but is struggling to pick up where he left off in 2011-12. He averaged 14 points per game as a junior last season, but did it on 43.6 percent shooting from the field as opposed to the 38.8 percent clip he's shooting this season.
At 6'5", Snaer is an excellent rebounding guard and will need to be huge on the glass as well as on both sides of the ball if Florida State is to spring the upset on Florida.
Snaer is also one of college basketball's most clutch late-game shooters (as seen above).
The key matchup in Wednesday's contest will take place on the glass, where Florida should have a decisive edge over Florida State. The Gators average nearly 40 rebounds per game, ranking 54th in the country this season while the 'Noles reel in less than 35 per game, ranking 200th.
With big men Patric Young and Will Yeguete leading the way (combined 15.5 rebounds per game), look for the Gators to dominate on the backboards and create lots of extra opportunities for their tremendous shooters.
To say that the Seminoles have been shaky to start the season would be an understatement. Florida State has lost three of seven to open its non-conference schedule, and two straight overall.
After seeing Florida State lose to Mercer at home on Sunday, it's safe to say that Florida will come away with bragging rights in this rivalry on Wednesday night. The Gators are a much more lethal team and should send the Seminoles spiraling with their third home loss in a row.
Florida 76, Florida State 61
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