Whether its fate, a little bit of luck or destiny, call it what you will but either way something special has taken place. The Florida Gators defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 84-65 Saturday afternoon, making them the first team in the Southeastern Conference to go undefeated.
The Gators also became the 17th team in NCAA Division 1 history to boast a perfect conference record when playing 18 or more games.
This senior class now has 113 career wins, the only other Gator to have more was guard Walter Hodge with 117.
On top of it all, this team hasn’t lost since early December. They’ve won 23 consecutive games and for the second year in a row went undefeated in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
It was fitting that on the senior’s last game at home, it was those players that carried the load against the Wildcats. Florida’s seniors had 51 of their 84 points and shot 65 percent from the field.
Four Gators scored in double figures with senior center Patric Young leading the team with 18 points and tied with seven rebounds.
Kentucky was down as much as 22 points in the first half but managed to pull within six in the second. Contrary to what the score depicts, the Wildcats played well.
Big Blue had three players score in double digits with freshman forward Julius Randle scoring 16 points and grabbing ten boards. As a collective unit they were solid, going 45 percent from the floor and 40 from the three point line.
Hard to believe it just wasn’t good enough as the Gators shot 59 percent from the field and 60 from beyond the arc. To make matters worse, the difference maker again for Florida was the contributions the bench gave them.
The added depth gave the Gators 28 points in 63 minutes. Most notably was sophomore forward Dorian Finney-Smith who had the stat line of the night. Coming off the bench, he added 11 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.
With the regular season now out of the way, the SEC tournament is set to begin March 12th in Atlanta, Georgia.