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'Cats prep for UF with rout

LEXINGTON, Ky. — If recent common-opponent results mean anything, Florida could be in trouble in Sunday's regular-season finale when No. 1 Kentucky visits the O'Connell Center.

On Thursday, five days after Georgia dismantled the Gators 76-62, Kentucky routed the Bulldogs 79-49 for its nation-best 52nd straight home win. The Wildcats head to the Gainesville matchup (noon, Ch. 10, 1250-AM) having won 21 in a row overall.

Darius Miller hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 as Kentucky (29-1, 15-0 SEC) had an offensive flurry that nearly equaled the stiff defensive effort the Wildcats have given all season. Kentucky goes to Florida with a chance to finish SEC play with a perfect record, joining the 1996 and 2003 squads as the only teams to accomplish that since 1956.

Kentucky, the nation's best defensive team by field goal percentage, made a season-best 15 3-pointers, hitting six in a row in the second half. Center Anthony Davis joined the 3-point party with his first of the season (1-for-9), and late in the game Miller's father, Brian, yelled from the stands, "Shoot from halfcourt!''

More fittingly for Davis, he had two blocks to give him an NCAA-best 140 for the season.

Donte' Williams led Georgia with 17 points. The Bulldogs made 3 of 19 3-pointers.

No. 13 Michigan 72, Ill. 61: Tim Hardaway had 25 points and 11 rebounds and the Wolverines 22-8, 12-5 Big Ten) stayed in the conference race with their first victory on the Illini's homecourt since 1995.

To win the conference, Michigan must beat Penn State on Sunday and have Ohio State beat Michigan State.

"We've won four out of our last five, and we need to keep it rolling," Hardaway said.

The Illini (17-13, 6-11 Big Ten) needs a win Sunday at Wisconsin and a run in the Big Ten tournament to have a shot at the NCAA Tournament.

Center Meyers Leonard led the Illini with 18 points and nine rebounds. His Marine Corps brother, Bailey Leonard, surprised him by coming to the game during a visit from Afghanistan.

Women: UF advances in SEC tournament

NASHVILLE — Jordan Jones scored 17 and Jennifer George posted her 15th double double of the season as Florida beat Auburn 70-60 in the first round of the SEC tournament.

The eighth-seeded Gators (19-11) play top-seeded Kentucky at 1 today (FSN). The Gators lost twice to the Wildcats during the regular season, 59-56 in Gainesville and 57-52 in Lexington.

FSU falls in acc: The eighth-seeded Seminoles had no field goals in the final 4½ minutes, and went scoreless the final 3½ minutes, and lost to N.C. State 74-71 in the first round of the ACC tournament in Greensboro, N.C. The ninth-seeded Wolfpack (17-14) rallied from 10 down in the second half.

Alexa Deluzio scored 26 for FSU (14-17), which ends with a losing season for the first time since 2001-02. Cierra Bravard capped her career sixthin FSU scoring (1,501), fourth in blocks (113), ninth in rebounds (768) and third in games (132). Her 453 free throws made are an FSU record.

Miami opens today against Wake Forest, which beat Virginia Tech 80-74.

No. 11 Wis.-Green Bay 85, Loyola of Chicago 56: Julie Wojta scored 24 and the visiting Phoenix (26-1, 16-1 Horizon) pulled away in the second half and reached 26 wins for the eighth time.

No. 24 Neb. 88, N'western 56: Jordan Hooper scored 16 of her 18 in the first half as the sixth-seeded Cornhuskers (22-7) rolled in the first round of the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis. Nebraska faces third-seeded Iowa today.

'Cats prep for UF with rout 03/01/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 2, 2012 12:17am]

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