College basketball: Ohio State meets Florida in Fort Myers Tip-Off

Special to Gatorsports.com
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Ohio State (4-1) vs. No. 24 Florida (4-0)

When: 8:30 p.m. today

TV: FS1

Radio: AM-850, 98.1-FM

Where: Suncoast Credit Union Arena, Fort Myers

BOTTOM LINE: Ohio State and Florida are set to clash in a postseason game in Fort Myers. Florida earned an 80-60 win over Cal in its most recent game, while Ohio State won 79-76 against Seton Hall in its last outing.

Monday's Game:Florida's 46 first-half points propel Gators to 80-60 win over Cal in Fort Myers Tip-Off

More:Ohio State, Florida, Seton Hall could all be ranked leading into Fort Myers Tip-Off

Florida's Colin Castleton (left) defends Cal's Andre Kelly during first round action of the Fort Myers Tip-Off on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021.

LEADING THE WAY: Florida's Colin Castleton has averaged 17 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks while Myreon Jones has put up 13 points and 4.3 rebounds. For the Buckeyes, E.J. Liddell has averaged 22.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.6 blocks while Zed Key has put up 9.8 points and five rebounds.

EXCELLENT E.J.: Liddell has connected on 38.1 percent of the 21 3-pointers he's attempted and has made 8 of 21 over the last five games. He's also converted 72.7 percent of his foul shots this season.

ASSIST RATIOS: The Buckeyes have recently used assists to create baskets more often than the Gators. Florida has 42 assists on 83 field goals (50.6 percent) over its past three outings while Ohio State has assists on 55 of 82 field goals (67.1 percent) during its past three games.

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LAST FIVE: Ohio State has scored 76.8 points while allowing 69 points over its last five games. Florida has averaged 76.5 points while giving up just 55.3 over its last five.

POLL: Rankings are from Ferris Mowers Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll, powered by USA TODAY Sports, of which Gatorsports.com is a member. Ohio State dropped out of the rankings this week after opening at No. 17

WORTH NOTING: Florida and Ohio State meet for the 14th time in series history and the second time during Mike White’s tenure. The Gators topped the Buckeyes in Columbus in a 2016 second-round NIT contest in White’s fi rst season at the helm, a win that stands as Florida’s only true road win vs. a Big Ten foe in program history.

• The Gators rode a strong late-first half performace to victory against Cal on Monday, outscoring the Bears 29-10 over the final 8:10 of the opening frame to earn a spot in the Fort Myers Tip-Off championship game. Florida is looking for its second straight Thanksgiving tournament title, also winning the 2019 Charleston Classic. Florida last won consecutive holiday tournaments in Dec. 1976 (Gator Bowl Tournament) and Dec. 1977 (Vermont Classic)

• The Florida defense’s 7.3 blocked shots per game rank second in the SEC in the early going, while the team’s 55.3 points allowed, +21.3 scoring margin, .281 3-point field goal defense and 8.8 3-pointers made per game rank third.

• The Gators used a 13-0 second-half run to spark the win against 20th-ranked FSU, and Colin Castleton earned SEC Player of the Week honors with a 15-point, 16-rebound, six-blocked shot performance. Castleton became the fi rst Gator with 15+ points and rebounds and five+ blocked shots since Joakim Noah went for 21/15/5 in the 2006 Elite Eight vs. Villanova.

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