Kentucky’s final test of the regular season will be in front of 10,000 rowdy reptiles at the O’Dome in Gainesville, Florida. To win in the SEC’s most difficult road environment, Kentucky must be at their best against a Florida team that appears to have put the pieces together at the right time.
Just like Kentucky, Florida had an ugly late-season losing streak. Just like Kentucky, they rebounded with a few impressive wins. Last week the Gators took down the SEC’s top team with a 72-66 victory over Auburn. They followed that with a 21-point win at Alabama. In the two wins Florida shot 46 percent from the field and made 38 percent of their three-point attempts.
If Florida stays hot, a lot of good things must happen for the Cats to pull off an upset on Chris Chiozza’s Senior Day.
TV, Radio, Vegas
TV — A Noon tip-off on CBS with Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel on the call.
Radio — The KSR Pregame Show begins at 9:30. Hear Leach and Pratt on the UK Sports Network, Sirius-84 and XM-81.
Vegas — Florida -5
The Last Time Kentucky Played Florida
The Cats let one slip through their fingers on January 20. With five minutes to play, Kentucky could not hold onto a three-point lead. Down two on the final possession, P.J. Washington didn’t get a clean look at the rim. Many thought it was a foul, but the refs thought it was a block, and the Cats took a 66-64 loss.
“We never should have gotten ourselves in that position in the first place,” Washington said the loss has not lingered. “It was just our fault. We should have been up a couple points going into that. We learned from it and we’re trying to get better in practice today.”
Coach Cal has a 15-7 record against the Gators, but is just 4-4 at the O’Dome. The last UK win in Gainesville was the final game of the 2016 regular season. Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis combined for 40 points en route to a 88-79 win.
Two O’Dome Memories
Two things immediately come to mind every time I think about a UK road trip to Florida.
The 2003 match-up was between No. 2 and No. 3. Seeking vengeance for a blowout loss at Rupp, Matt Walsh and Matt Bonner couldn’t keep up with Keith Bogans and Gerald Fitch. After taking a 69-67 loss, a fan through a stuffed gator on the court near Bogans’ postgame interview. The UK shooting guard picked up the teddy bear look alike and punted it into the stands. Twelve-year old Nick was in awe.
The other memory was a murder. I never took Willie Cauley-Stein for a killer, until this:
Today we are all Missouri basketball fans. Regardless of what happens today in Gainesville, if Mizzou can hold off Arkansas at home, Kentucky will clinch a double-bye and begin SEC Tournament play on Friday. If Arkansas wins, Kentucky must beat Florida or John Calipari’s Cats will play on Thursday at the SEC Tournament for the first time.
College Basketball on TV
The Big Ten and Missouri Valley conference tournaments have reached the semifinal stage and the OVC Final airs at 8:00 on ESPN2.
|Noon||#20 West Virginia at Texas||ESPN|
|2:00||Alabama at A&M||ESPN2|
|2:00||Baylor at K State||ESPN|
|2:00||#18 Clemson at Syracuse||ACCNE|
|2:00||Michigan vs. Michigan State||CBS|
|3:30||Bradley vs. Loyola-Chicago||CBSSN|
|4:00||Notre Dame at #1 Virginia||ACCNE|
|4:00||#6 Kansas at Oklahoma State||ESPN|
|4:30||Penn State vs. Purdue||ACCNE|
|5:00||Georgetown at #4 Villanova||Fox|
|6:00||Georgia at #16 Tennessee||SEC|
|6:00||Louisville at NC State||ESPN|
|6:00||Arkansas at Missouri||ESPN2|
|6:05||Illinois State vs. Southern Illinois||CBSSN|
|8:15||#9 UNC at #5 Duke||ESPN|
|10:15||UCLA at USC||ESPN|
UK Baseball Rolls
The Cats brought their big bats to game one of the Shriners Classic. Kentucky got a pair of homeruns from Luke Heyer, and the Cats run-ruled No. 19 Houston with a 14-2 win at Minute Maid Park.
They’ll return to action today at 1:00 vs. Sam Houston State. Find ways to watch and listen here.
The KSR Pregame Show Begins at 9:30
Turn your radio dial to 630 WLAP or click here to listen to all of the exciting action.