OCTAVIO JONES | Times
Florida's Will Yeguete (15) and his team celebrate an 84-65 victory against Kentucky, completing an 18-0 run through the SEC.
Florida will enter the postseason ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history.
The Gators remained No. 1 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches poll - the final regular season polls of the season.
It is the first time the Gators have been No. 1 at the end of the regular season.
The Gators closed out the regular season with a victory over Kentucky on Saturday, becoming the first SEC team to finish the season 18-0 in conference play. Florida is currently on a 23-game winning streak.
The Gators will open SEC tournament play on Friday, at 1 p.m., against the winner of Thursday's Missouri-Texas A&M game.
The tournament bye will give the Gators nearly a week to prepare, which coach Billy Donovan said the Gators will use to work on getting better, while trying to regroup physically. …Full Story
Florida sophomore guard Michael Frazier had one of the best weeks of his Gators career last week, earning him Co-SEC Player of the Week honors in the final week of the regular season.
Frazier shares the weekly award with Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes. It is the second Player of the Week honor for Frazier this season.
Frazier's recognition comes following a record-setting performance for the player from Tampa, who averaged 23 points in the Gators' wins over South Carolina and Kentucky last week.
His 11 3-pointers against South Carolina are an SEC and Florida record for an SEC game. He scored 37 points in that game, tied for the most by a Gator since the 1982-83 season.
"It just so happened that in the South Carolina game that he was the recipient where the ball found him a lot, and to his credit, he knocked down a lot of shots and opened the game up for us," Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
This time, they cut down the nets.
After declining to participate in a net-cutting ceremony after last week's win over LSU because there were two regular season games remaining, the No. 1 Florida Gators celebrated an 84-65 win over No. 25 Kentucky Saturday afternoon by cutting down the nets.
With the win, the Gators became the first team in SEC history to go 18-0 in SEC play, only the second team this season to have a perfect league record (along with Wichita State).
The 19-point win was Florida’s largest margin of victory over Kentucky (22-9, 12-6 SEC) in the series. Florida is now tied with Duke and Stephen F. Austin for the longest home winning streaks in the nation (32).
The Gators’ 29-2 record is the best regular season record in school history and Florida won the SEC by a six-game margin.
“For me as a coach, it’s the greatest regular season I’ve ever been a part of,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
Watch as the Gator' four seniors cut down the nets following the win over Kentucky.
Will Yeguete believes he and his fellow Gator teammates knew shortly after they met they could be destined for something special.
Four years later, their expectations have become a special reality. The Gators will play Kentucky on Saturday with a chance to become the first team to go 18-0 in SEC play.
The senior class is the first in UF history to win three SEC championships.
"We knew how close we are and how much we could accomplish as a group," he said. "We had a lot of fun here, especially with this group this year, and we're just excited for what's next and we know there's more out there for us."
The Gators expect an emotional pregame ceremony tomorrow morning prior to the Kentucky game, which kicks off at noon.
Scottie Wilbekin talks more about the senior class here. Full Story
The Florida-Kentucky basketball game is such a highly-anticipated event ticket prices are soaring, according the website seatgeek.com.
At an average ticket price of $249, it's the most in-demand regular season college basketball game in the state of Florida since at least 2009 when seatgeek began monitoring the secondary market.
The least expensive seats available are selling for more than 4x face value on the secondary market.
The demand for the tickets aren't just because of the outstanding season the Gators are currently having. It's also about seeing Florida's four seniors play in the O'Connell Center for the final time and a chance to witness history.
With a victory over Kentucky, Florida would become the first SEC team to go 18-0 in conference play.
A few facts according to seatgeek.com:
- The average ticket price for Saturday's game has risen by 77% from $141 to $249 in the two and a half weeks since UF defeated Kentucky in Lexington on Feb. 15. …Full Story
Former Florida WR Wes Chandler is among 75 players nominated for the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame.
Chandler was a First Team All America selection in 1977, finishing 10th in Heisman Trophy balloting. He was a two-time First Team All-SEC performer. He was a Gator captain in 1977, and led the team in receiving three consecutive seasons.
Also among the nominees is former Miami All-American and Tampa Bay Bucs Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be announced in Mayand members will be inducted at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 9, 2014.
The inductees will be permanently enshrined in the new College Football Hall of Fame at a date to be determined in 2015. The new Hall, currently under construction, will open in Atlanta in time for the 2014 college football season.Full Story
To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been named a First Team All-American by a major/national selector as recognized and utilized by the NCAA for their consensus All-America teams; played their last year of intercollegiate football at least 10 years prior; played within the last 50 years and cannot be currently playing professional football. …
Florida's new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper will earn a base salary of $590,000 annually while special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler will earn $230,000 and offensive line coach Mike Summers will earn $190,000, according to contracts released by the University Athletic Association through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The assistant coaches' contracts also include a $10,000 Nike apparel deal bonus, which is standard among the Gators' coaches. They will also receive compensation from camps and annuities and a leased vehicle among other benefits.
Roper, who is making the same base salary as former OC Brent Pease earned this past season, also received a $100,000 incentive bonus, which he will collect each January through the end of his contract, beginning in 2016.
Roper's contract runs through 2017, Summers through 2016 and Hutzler through 2015.
The Gators finished 4-8 last season and replaced several coaches in the aftermath.
It was Michael Frazier's experience with Billy Donovan and the USA 19-under basketball team this past summer that went a long way in helping Frazier gain more confidence - and the courage to keep shooting.
Michael Frazier II's breakout 37-point performance against South Carolina Tuesday night was a product of a long struggle between the sophomore and coach Billy Donovan over Frazier's hesitance to shoot when he's struggling.
The Tampa native is a prolific shooter, but Donovan has said he's also a dedicated team player. And for Frazier, if his shot wasn't falling early, he generally stopped shooting.
Afterall, he didn't want to hurt his team.
But it was his experience with Donovan and the USA 19-under basketball team this past summer that went a long way in helping Frazier gain more confidence - and the courage to keep shooting.
"I do think that experienced helped him," Donovan said.
But it wasn't easy - for Frazier or Donovan. …Full Story
Florida fans hoping to get a glimpse of the Gators during spring football practices will have eight open practices to choose from this spring.
This is an unprecedented move under Florida coach Will Muschamp who has had limited open spring practices since his arrival four years ago.
The Gators will begin spring practice on Wednesday, March 19.
The following dates will be open to fans: Wednesday, March 19; Friday, March 21; Saturday, March 22; Monday, March 24; Wednesday, March 26; Monday, March 31; Wednesday, April 2 and Friday, April 11.
The annual Orange and Blue game will be held on April 12, at 1:30 p.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Students, Gator Boosters, Alumni Association members and F Club members all receive free admission to the spring game. A limited supply of free tickets is also available at Florida Farm Bureau agents' offices.
Tickets are currently available for $5 in the Gator ticket office at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium or can
be ordered online at GatorZone.com/tickets.
No. 1 Florida will play its final road game of the regular season tonight when the Gators play at South Carolina.
The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU at 7 p.m.
Florida will be trying to earn its ninth straight road win, the third-longest streak in the nation. South Carolina is coming off a huge upset win over Kentucky this past Saturday.
The Gators have won five consecutive and 12 of the last 15 against South Carolina. The Gamecocks have the SEC's best 3-point shooting field goal percentage (36.8) and Sindarius Thornwell is averaging 15 points and shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Florida defeated the Gamecocks by 16 in early January, but coach Billy Donovan said he expects a much-improved South Carolina team from the one the Gators saw earlier this year. He explains why here: Full Story
If you're an SEC fan that also has DISH Network, there's good news for you.
DISH and ESPN announced today they have reached an agreement for nationwide carriage of the SEC Network on DISH when the network launches Aug. 14, 2014.
DISH is the SEC Network’s first nationwide television provider.
The channel will be available in DISH’s America’s Top 120+ and higher packages across the country. DISH subscribers will also have authenticated access to additional live events scheduled for the SEC Network’s digital platform, with the ability to watch SEC Network content anytime, anywhere on their television, computer, tablet or mobile device.
“Few fan bases rival the passion and loyalty of the SEC, and DISH is proud to be the first nationwide television provider of the SEC Network,” said Dave Shull, DISH executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “We strive to give our customers and consumers what they want, and there’s no better place for the college sports fan than with DISH." …Full Story
Florida coach Will Muschamp will make his annual appearance in the Tampa area on May 5, the school announced today.
Muschamp will speak to the Tampa and Pinellas County Gator clubs as part of the annual Gator Gathering speaking tour.
Muschamp will have several other speaking engagements across the state including: May 1 in Fort Lauderdale (Broward County Gator Club); May 7 in Lakeland (Polk County Gator Club); May 13 in Orlando (Central Florida Gator Club); May 20 in Gainesville (Titletown Gator Club) and May 22 in Gainesville (Fightin’ Gator Touchdown Club).
Several Gator football assistants will also be a part of the speaking tour. Offensive coordinator Kurt Roper will speak in Ocala (Marion County Gator Club), OL coach Mike Summers will be in Tallahassee (Capital Area Gator Club) and Pensacola (Northwest Florida Gator Club), and special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler will be out speaking to fans in Daytona Beach (Volusia County Gator Club).
Gators basketball coach Billy Donovan will speak in Fort Myers (Southwest Florida Gator Club) and Atlanta (Atlanta Gator Club) with dates to be determined later.Full Story
Could the Gators be headed for a rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 game?
In his latest NCAA Tournament bracket, ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi has Florida as the No. 1 seed facing either Florida Gulf Coast or High Point in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Orlando.
The Gators defeated FGCU in a highly-anticipated Sweet 16 game last season.
Here is Lunardi's latest bracket. Full Story
Florida is a huge favorite in the NCAA Tournament in the eyes of Las Vegas.
Based on Las Vegas tournament odds, the Gators would be the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament Florida (9-to-2), joined by Kansas (6-to-1) Arizona (7-to-1) and Duke (8-to-1)as the other No. 1 seeds.
In the grand scheme of things it means nothing, but here's an interesting look at the NCAA tourney through Vegas' eyes.Full Story
When Florida plays at South Carolina Tuesday night, the Gators will be trying to win their ninth consecutive road game this season.
The eight road wins streak is tied for third longest in the nation, trailing only Wichita State and Stephen F. Austin's 12-game streak.
But Florida coach Billy Donovan said Florida's success on the road so far isn't something the Gators take for granted, and it doesn't really mean anything when the Gators meet the Gamecocks.
Florida has to play, well. Period. …Full Story