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Sunday Mar 26th, 2017  

 Preview: Kentucky at Florida Tuesday
posted 4 years ago

The NBA Picks Monday are now done and this month we have 2013 Academy Awards Best Picture Odds. The top two teams in the Southeastern Conference standings play a pivotal contest when No. 6 Florida hosts Kentucky on Tuesday. The Gators have won 11 of 12 games and have a one-game lead over the Wildcats. Florida is 11-0 at the O’Connell Center and has won its five SEC home contests by an average of 28.4 points. Kentucky has won a season-long five straight Basketball Picks games and is playing stellar basketball after a bumpy start.

Florida may be in first place, but coach Billy Donovan always views Kentucky as the top dog in the SEC. “I think every school in this conference looks at Kentucky as being the program to try to become,” Donovan said at Monday’s press conference. “Obviously, it’s hard to do because they’ve done it for such a long period of time, not just here recently.” Wildcats coach John Calipari knows his squad can move into a first-place tie but is more interested in the bigger picture. “I’m not worried about first place, second place, fifth place,” Calipari said. “No, just get better. Play for us, get out of your own self’s way so you can now not feel the weight of the world on you, and that’s where we’re zeroing in on right now.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

ABOUT KENTUCKY (17-6, 8-2 SEC): Freshman forward Nerlens Noel continues to be a difference-maker and is averaging 10.6 points and 9.6 rebounds to go with 103 blocks. He joins Anthony Davis from last season’s squad as the only Kentucky players to block 100 or more shots in a season. Freshman guard Archie Goodwin averages a team-best 14.2 points and will be looking to rebound from a three-point outing in Saturday’s victory over Auburn that ended a streak of 17 straight double-digit outings. Senior guard Julius Mays (9.3 average) has made 17 3-pointers over the last six Sports Picks games after making 27 through the first 17 outings. Freshman forward Alex Poythress averages 12.3 points and sophomore forward Kyle Wiltjer contributes 11.7 per game.

ABOUT FLORIDA (19-3, 9-1 SEC):
The Gators have adjusted some roles after losing junior forward Will Yeguete to a knee injury and Donovan remains uncertain when Yeguete (second in rebounding at 6.3) will return. The loss leaves junior center Patric Young (10.8 points, team-best 6.6 rebounds) as the lone force in the interior. More will be expected from junior forward Casey Prather (5.9 points), who scored a season-best 12 points in Saturday’s victory over Mississippi State. Senior guard Kenny Boynton averages a team-best 13.1 points with senior forward Erik Murphy (12.9) and senior guard Mike Rosario (12.5) close behind. Rosario has led the Gators in scoring the past two games with efforts of 15 and 18 points.

TIP-INS

1. The Wildcats went 3-0 against Florida last season and have won nine of the last 11 meetings.

2. The Gators have held 16 opponents to fewer than than 60 points and allow an SEC-low 52.7 points per game.

3. Kentucky sophomore PG Ryan Harrow has six turnover-free outings this season.

PREDICTION:
Florida 74, Kentucky 72
 
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