Florida, Tennessee meet in SEC quarterfinals

Special to Gatorsports.com
Tennessee's Santiago Vescovi (25) is guarded by Florida's Anthony Duruji, left, during last Sunday's game in Knoxville, Tenn. The Vols won 65-54 to earn the fourth seed in the SEC tourney.

Florida (14-8) vs. Tennessee (17-7)

Southeastern Conference Tourney Quarterfinals, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee; Friday, 2:30 p.m. EST, ESPN

BOTTOM LINE: Fifth seed Florida is set to take on fourth seed Tennessee in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament. The teams split the regular season series at one win apiece. The teams last met March 7, when the Volunteers shot 43.5 percent from the field en route to the 11-point victory.

LEADING THE WAY: Tre Mann is averaging 14.6 points and 5.5 rebounds to lead the charge for the Gators. Colin Castleton is also a big contributor, accounting for 11.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. The Volunteers have been led by Jaden Springer, who is averaging 11.3 points.

MIGHTY MANN: Mann has connected on 39.1 percent of the 87 3-pointers he's attempted and has made 5 of 13 over his last five games. He's also made 84.2 percent of his foul shots this season. Mann led the Gators in Thursday's win over Vandy with 22 points and six assists, along with seven rebounds. Mann has scored 20+ in three straight appearances and is averaging 20.8 points over his past four games played.

ACCOUNTING FOR ASSISTS: The Volunteers have recently used assists to create buckets more often than the Gators. Tennessee has 38 assists on 76 field goals (50 percent) across its previous three games while Florida has assists on 32 of 70 field goals (45.7 percent) during its past three games.

REBOUNDING MATTERS: Florida dominated Tennessee on the glass in its 75-49 win on Jan. 16. The Vols flipped the stat Sunday, owning Florida 38-29 and snaring 18 offensive rebounds to match their season best. Yves Pons and Josiah-Jordan James were especially important rebounding on Saturday.

DID YOU KNOW: The Tennessee defense has forced opponents into turnovers on an impressive 23 percent of all possessions, which is the 23rd-highest rate in the country. The Florida offense has turned the ball over on 20.9 percent of its possessions (ranked 279th among Division I teams).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.