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UCF Knights Pull Off the Big Upset in Beating No. 18 Florida Gators, 57-54

MILWAUKEE - MARCH 19:  The Central Florida Golden Knights mascot entertains the crowd during the first round game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Bradley Center on March 19, 2004 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Pittsburgh defeated Central Florida 53-44. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Jim FolsomContributorDecember 1, 2010

For those of you who did not watch the UCF vs. Florida game from the brand new Amway Center on Wednesday night, let me assure you, this was no flukey win. UCF punched the Gators in the mouth. They led most of the way and never did it feel like Florida was going to get control of this game.

Led by the new MJ, Michael's son Marcus Jordan, the Knights stood toe-to-toe with the heavily favored Gators from the outset. Gators seniors Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons did nothing all night as the Knights defense shut them down.

Jordan and Keith Clanton led the way for UCF. Jordan finished with 18 points and Clanton scored 12 including huge free throws at the end of the game, something Florida seemed unable to do at any point in the game. UF was a paltry 10-of-18 from the free throw line and an abysmal two-of-13 from three point land.

UCF was able to hit five three pointers which was the difference in the ball game.

The Knights led most of the night, and at one time was up as much as nine points. But as Jordan got a break with the Knights up 44-36, the Gators came back to take a 46-44 lead. But as soon as MJ Jr. came in he promptly hit a Jordan-esque runner with his off hand to tie the game. The rest of the game no doubt made ol' No. 23 proud as his son made big play after big play.

UCF now has a 6-0 record and is 2-0 against BCS conference schools (USF and Florida). They have two more games left with schools that will look good on a resume in Miami and UMass before Conference USA starts.

UCF looks like a pretty good bet to enter conference play undefeated which will make their Jan 26th show down at Memphis a huge game. The Tigers will face the Knights in Orlando on Feb 9th.

A huge night to be a Knight in a huge week. The football team will be trying to win the conference championship on Saturday against SMU. If successful, many have the Knights playing against the Georgia Bulldogs on New Year's Eve in the Liberty Bowl.

A win over the Gators in basketball and a conference championship in football would indeed be the biggest week in UCF sports history. Hopefully the Big East Conference is watching this.

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