Top 25 battle pits Gamecocks against Gators

Top 25 battle pits Gamecocks against Gators

Frank Martin’s South Carolina squad prides itself on smothering defense. This evening, though, the Gamecocks may meet their match.

SEC rival Florida will arrive at Colonial Life Arena for a 6:30 p.m. ET tip. Online sports book gives the hosts odds of -130 to emerge victorious. Mike White’s program, on the other hand, represents a +110 underdog.

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The Gamecocks rank eighth nationally in scoring D at 59.8 points per contest. They’ve held five opponents, including Michigan and Syracuse, to 50 points or fewer. Columbia’s getting to witness some pretty explosive offensive performances, too, thanks largely to senior Sindarius Thornwell and sophomore PJ Dozier. The backcourt tandem is averaging a combined 32.9 points a tilt.

Meanwhile, in Gainesville, White continues to cultivate his own tough-minded brand. During the Gators’ current seven-game winning streak, only three foes (Arkansas-Little Rock, Ole Miss and Tennessee) have shot better than 48 percent from the field. Such tenacity certainly came in handy in last Saturday’s 80-76 triumph against Georgia. The fast-ascending Canyon Barry keyed a crucial second-half run, and UF’s reserves outscored the Bulldogs’ 51-5.

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Can South Carolina prevent the Gators from starting 6-0 in conference play for the first time in three years? Sure, but the visitors’ uber-deep roster could present a slew of matchup problems as the tilt progresses. We’ll ride with Florida to stay absurdly hot.



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