The 31-2 Florida Gators and 24-9 Kentucky Wildcats will meet in the SEC's tournament's final Sunday afternoon in a rematch of the regular-season finale.
Kentucky will be out for revenge after falling 84-65 in that matchup at Florida. The Wildcats also lost at home versus the Gators on Feb. 15 by a 69-59 count.
Florida, meanwhile, is looking for its 26th win in a row after going 18-0 in SEC play.
Florida is the 4th major conference team in the last 15 seasons to go undefeated in conference play (Kentucky 11-12 & 02-03, Kansas 01-02)— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) March 10, 2014
We'll break down this matchup and offer a prediction at the end.
|Time (ET)||Team 1||Team 2||TV Info|
The SEC final can be live-streamed on ESPN3.
Both teams have been playing some great basketball of late.
Florida continued its run by demolishing Missouri 72-49 in the quarterfinal and followed it up with a 56-49 win over Tennessee.
The Wildcats dominated LSU 85-67 in the quarterfinal and got by Georgia 70-58 the next day.
After falling behind 35-28 to the Volunteers at the half on Saturday, Florida buckled down defensively, holding Tennessee to 14 second-half points.
Head coach Billy Donovan praised his team's resilience during a press conference with The Associated Press, via ESPN.com: "This group has a resiliency and a competitiveness. We have our faults. We're not perfect. But I've never walked off the court saying, 'Wow, these guys didn't get after it, they didn't compete.'"
Florida may not torch the nets offensively, ranking 181st in the nation at 71.0 points per game, but the team prides itself on defense, allowing only 57.9 points per game (No. 3 nationally).
Showed a lot of toughness today. Great defense. Great game gators!!! Very impressive.— Joakim Noah (@JoakimNoah) March 15, 2014
The Wildcats may not be able to measure up defensively with Florida, allowing 66.8 points per game (86th nationally), but they are more well-rounded, averaging 76.4 points per game (No. 46 nationally).
This is a capable team on both sides of the ball.
However, Florida is on cruise control at the moment, so it's difficult to pick against the Gators. Per Vegas Insider, the spread is anywhere from 5.5 to 6.5 points in favor of Florida.
We see Florida covering.
Florida 67, Kentucky 58