Game recap: Florida Gators men's basketball vs. Kentucky Wildcats in SEC game
The Florida Gators men's basketball team kept their March Madness hopes alive with a huge upset win. Can they keep it going against the reigning Naismith Player of the Year?
Florida travels to Lexington to take on the Kentucky Wildcats and Oscar Tshiebwe on Saturday night. UF is in the midst of a tough four-game stretch that involves three teams ranked the Top 5.
But the Gators (13-9, 6-3 in SEC) are looking to start a winning streak after stunning No. 2 Tennessee 67-54 on Wednesday in Gainesville. Center Colin Castleton, third in the nation with 68 blocks, led the way with 20 points and nine rebounds. It was the biggest win of Todd Golden's first season as UF coach. The Gators still have ground to make up if they want to make the NCAA Tournament, as they are 2-7 in Quad 1 games.
Kentucky (15-7, 6-3) is coming off a 75-66 win over Ole Miss. Tshiebwe isn't playing up to last season's numbers, but he is still tied for fourth in the SEC with 16.5 points per game and is averaging 13.6 rebounds per game, almost five boards ahead of the pack in the conference. Coach John Calipari has seen a lot of success against Florida, going 23-9 all-time against the Gators.
What to watch for:3 questions for the Gators heading into Saturday's game at Kentucky
Florida's big win:3 takeaways from the Gators' 67-54 upset of No. 2 Tennessee
Florida falls at Rupp
Florida fell short in its comeback effort at Kentucky, losing 72-67 at Rupp Arena. Down 70-67, the Gators had a chance to tie and send the game into overtime, but guard Myreon Jones threw up an air ball on a broken play with 13 seconds remaining. Florida was then forced to foul and Kentucky guard Cason Wallace made both free throws to seal the win. Senior center Colin Castleton led Florida with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. The Gators (13-10, 6-4 SEC) will next play Wednesday at No. 5 Alabama.
Down by as many as 14 points in the second half, Florida has cut Kentucky's lead to 61-54 with 3:36 remaining with Colin Castleton going to the line.
Florida still trailing
The Gators are down 48-40 to Kentucky with 10:48 left. Sharp-shooting Kentucky guard C.J. Fredrick has burned the Gators with 12 points, going 4 of 7 from the field and 3 of 3 from 3-point range.
Gators down 11 at halftime
Florida finds itself down 33-22 at halftime. Gators shot just 26.9 percent from the field in the first half and 16.7 percent (1-6) from 3-point range. Colin Castleton leads the Gators with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Another slow start on the road
The Gators have started the game 2 of 15 from the floor with 6 turnovers and trail Kentucky 19-9 with 7:48 left in the first half.
Tip time delayed
The tipoff time of Florida-Kentucky was delayed to 8:40 p.m. because the Duke-North Carolina game in ESPN ran a little long.
Cason Wallace back in lineup, starting for Kentucky
Wallace, averaging 11.3 points and 3.6 assists, sat out Kentucky's last game against Ole Miss with a knee contusion.
What time do the Florida Gators play?
8:30 p.m. ET Saturday, February 4
Where is the UF basketball game tonight?
Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
What channel is the Florida game on?
ESPN (Channel 206 on DirecTV, Channel 140 on DISH Network)
How can I watch Florida vs. Kentucky streaming?
WatchESPN and ESPN+ (subscription required), YouTube TV (2-week free trial), Hulu + Live TV (7-day free trial), fuboTV (7-day free trial)
How can I listen to UF vs. UK on the radio?
Radio: WRUF (103.7 FM, 98.1 FM, 850 AM), Sirius XM (Channel 385)
Online radio: floridagators.com, siriusxm.com (Channel 975), tunein.com
What's the latest betting line for Florida vs. Kentucky?
The Wildcats are a 4.5-point favorite over the Gators, according to Tipico, the oddsmaker for USA Today. The over-under is 136.5 points.