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The latest on college sports in Florida

Gators favored, but Billy Donovan not expecting easy victory over Auburn



Florida may be a double-digit favorite in tonight's game against Auburn, but coach Billy Donovan has warned his Gators not to take the Tigers lightly.

Florida (21-6, 9-3 SEC) is currently in second place in the SEC race, while the Tigers are third from last place. But the last time the Gators hosted an opponent they were favored against (Tennessee on Feb. 11), they lost 75-70 - their first home loss of the season.

Donovan said he expects a hard-fought, physical game tonight.

“They are a very, very physical team, a hard-nosed team, very aggressive, they play hard,'' he said. "I think if you go back and look at their statistics in the league, people look at their record maybe and draw opinions or conclusions about their team. But they went to Arkansas and lost by three, lost an overtime game against Ole Miss. On the road, they play very, very well; they haven’t had a lot of large margins of defeat. (Kenny) Gabriel is a real matchup problem because they’re playing him at the small forward spot and they’ll slide him to the power forwardspots. He’s a very, very good player. (Varez) Ward, he transferred from Texas. (Chris) Denson, Frankie Sullivan, who’s a guy that a year ago was dealing with some knee injuries, he’s coming into his own as a strong, physical guard. They’re going to change up defenses: they’ll do 2-2-1 press, they’ll do 2-3 zone, they’ll play man-to-man,they’ll do a lot of different things. They’re a very aggressive, hard-playing team.''

The game will tipoff at 7 p.m., and can be seen nationally on ESPNU.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:56pm]


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