Elite SEC programs square off in Gainesville

Elite SEC programs square off in Gainesville

On Wednesday, Florida had little trouble dismantling Missouri 93-54. But how will Mike White’s team fare against the class of the SEC?

The Gators host No. 8 Kentucky tonight, with an 8:15 p.m. ET tip at the Stephen O’Connell Center. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives UF odds of -140 to emerge victorious. Conversely, the Wildcats represent +120 underdogs.

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With wins vs. Michigan State, North Carolina and South Carolina already under their belt, John Calipari’s troops appear capable of launching another deep run in March. Shooting guard Malik Monk, who’s racked up at least 24 points in six of nine conference games, leads an uber-talented freshman class. De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe and Bam Adebayo also average in double figures in scoring.

Florida’s surge toward the top of the standings has come across as a bit more surprising. Now, though, White’s group is routinely shredding opponents. Prior to humiliating Mizzou, the Gators (17-5) had inflicted similar punishment on LSU and Oklahoma. In fact, KeVaughn Allen & Co. haven’t dropped a contest in the Sunshine State since Jan. 21.

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UK (18-4) could be at a real disadvantage, too, in the health department. Fox, Mychal Mulder and Sacha Killeya-Jones all continue to deal with illnesses. The Wildcats’ impressive depth aside, however, Calipari would rather not visit the No. 24-ranked squad in the nation without a full deck. Expect a startlingly close, defensive-oriented affair.

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