Kentucky vs Florida a matchup of teams headed different ways

Kentucky vs Florida Saturday on CBS: The #25 Kentucky Wildcats visit the #1 Florida Gators in a matchup of teams headed in opposite directions.

ALSO SEE: New Mexico vs. SDSU in key MWC conference clash Saturday on CBS Sports Network


#25 Kentucky @ #1 Florida

Saturday, March 8, 12pm ET on CBS

Kentucky (22-8, 12-5 SEC)

Florida (28-2, 17-0 SEC)

 3 things to watch for:

“Chasing greatness” That’s the motto Florida coach Billy Donovan has for the stretch run. His Gator’s have an opportunity to become the first SEC team to go undefeated in conference play if they can beat the Wildcats on their home floor. They’ve already set records for regular season wins (27), consecutive wins (21), and consecutive wins at home (31). A win over Kentucky would also firmly secure them as a #1 seed for the tournament, and put them in the running for the number 1 overall seed with a chance to play an early round game in Orlando.

Getting their guys back The key to Florida’s big run has been not only a solid nucleus, but also having Kasey Hill, Casey Prather, Patric Young and DeVon Walker back from either injuries or suspensions. The 4 combine to score just over 47% percent of the offense, and give Michael Frazier II, Scottie Wilbekin and Dorian Finney-Smith time to rest up before the conference and NCAA tournaments begin.

Kentucky’s bad run I’d be remiss if I didn’t try to break down their stretch of bad losses into simpler terms. To be quite frank, they are playing like a group of freshman. They’ll have games when they look like an SEC contender (against Michigan St) with good shots around the basket and post ups to Julius Randle. And then they’ll have games like the awful road performance against South Carolina when James Young mentions that they struggle listening to their coach and they settle for early shot clock 3’s. The problem is that it’s March and unless these guys can put positive performances together, it won’t matter what the result against Florida is.

What others are saying about each team

Larry Vaught of “” asks just what’s wrong with Kentucky basketball.

Andy Hutchins of “” on why it’s probably a bad idea to leave Michael Frazier II open.

Dan Lyons of “” features an interview of Rick Pitino comparing Kentucky fandom to a religion.

Trevor Lowry of “” has 10 reasons why the Gator’s will win it all this year.