Record: 24-6 (13-3 SEC)
Record: 18-13 (8-8 SEC)
If Florida ends up winning the SEC tournament, it will probably look back on this game as its biggest challenge. It will be thier toughest game of the tournament. Florida is playing Tennessee for the third time after beating them twice.
Tennessee will have more to play for in this game. Not only are they playing for the SEC Championship, they're playing to move up from the the 10 seed they're projected to be in the NCAA Tournament. Even if Florida wins out, they still wouldn't move from a three to a two seed according to Joe Lunardi.
It may be an old tradition thats fueling the Gators now. Donovan talked to his team about cutting down the nets. Florida's seniors have not had that experience and they only have three more opportunities to achieve it. The SEC Championship, the Final Four, and the NCAA Championship.
Tennessee looked good against Arkansas. They were up big even with Scotty Hopson only taking three shots early in the second half. Offensive rebounding was huge for the Vols and they were on such a roll that Brian Williams even drained a three, his first attempt all season. They built a large enough lead that they were able to withstand an Arkansas 16-0 run late. It was a case of Tennessee getting lazy on the defensive side with a big lead.
Previous Games: The Florida - Tennessee basketball rivalry has been must see TV since Bruce Pearl took over coaching duties in 2005. As usual, both of thier games this year were close. Florida beat Tennessee in Knoxville on 1/11/11 in an overtime thriller 81-75. All five Gator starters scored in double figures in that game and Florida shot 50% from 3 point range. Scotty Hopson had 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist.
On Feb 12th Florida edged out the Vols 61-60 on a Erving Walker lay-up with 14 seconds left. Florida won after playing from behind most of the game. Scotty Hopson scored 22 points with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Though Hopson has scored 20 plus in each game, he wasn't that much of an impact in the games. In the most recent game, he was shut down late by Scottie Wilbekin.
Prediction: I did predict Florida to win at least one game in my previous article so I'll go Florida 75-70. The keys will be defending Scotty Hopson and how well Florida does with their fouling and foul shooting.