ATLANTA — Kentucky coach John Calipari didn't mince words Saturday afternoon on the subject of playing Florida for the third time in a month.
The Gators and Wildcats (24-9) meet today in the SEC tournament championship game, and Calipari was told that his players wanted to see the Gators again.
"I don't," Calipari said. "I've had enough of the Gators."
Kentucky's 70-58 victory over Georgia (19-13) in the semifinals set up a third game this season against No. 1-ranked Florida. It is the second game between the two in eight days and the third since Feb. 15. Florida defeated Kentucky 84-65 on March 8 and swept the regular-season series....
ATLANTA — With its offense sputtering and its defense getting manhandled in the first half, No. 1 Florida fell back on what has been its greatest asset this season: defense.
Trailing by as many as 10 against Tennessee, Florida held the Vols to 14 second-half points and rallied for a 56-49 victory in Saturday's SEC tournament semifinals at the Georgia Dome. Top-seeded Florida plays second-seeded Kentucky today for the championship....
ATLANTA — Forward Jarnell Stokes and the Vols will get one more shot at Florida this season.
Stokes had a game-high 22 points and 15 rebounds to lead Tennessee to a 59-44 victory over South Carolina in Friday's SEC tournament quarterfinals.
The win sets up a third meeting this season between the Gators and Vols, who are looking for a signature win to boost their NCAA Tournament resume....
ATLANTA — Florida's struggles for most of Friday's SEC tournament quarterfinal against Missouri might have surprised many, but coach Billy Donovan wasn't among them. He saw it coming from a mile away.
Donovan said a multitude of factors, including a six-day layoff and a Tuesday scrimmage he described as "awful," led him to believe his top-ranked team might struggle against the Tigers....
When March rolled in last year, it was no different from any other month for Florida forward Dorian Finney-Smith.
He was in the first year of his transfer from Virginia Tech and had to sit out the season per NCAA rules. He practiced, but as the Gators made their run to a third consecutive Elite Eight, Finney-Smith was watching on TV. So you can imagine what the newly crowned SEC sixth man of the year feels like today....
Gators senior C Patric Young was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday, and the award caught him by surprise.
Hear what he had to say about winning, and his joy over his teammates also being honored.
When/where: Today-Sunday; Georgia Dome, Atlanta.
Outlook: It has been a tough season for the league, with only No. 1 Florida ranked in the final regular-season polls. There's a lot at stake for several teams on the NCAA Tournament bubble or trying for higher seeds, including Arkansas and Tennessee. The Razorbacks are coming off a bad loss to Alabama but have won seven of nine. The Vols have won five of six, including four straight. But don't sleep on Georgia, which was one of the most improved teams in the league in the second half....
Three days after becoming the first SEC team to go 18-0 in league play, Florida earned four major conference awards, voted on by the league's coaches.
Florida coach Billy Donovan was voted SEC Coach of the Year and senior guard Scottie Wilbekin is the SEC Player of the Year. It is the second consecutive season Donovan has been voted Coach of the Year.
Senior center Patric Young was named Defensive Player of the Year and junior Dorian Finney-Smith was named Sixth Man of the Year. Senior F Casey Prather joined Wilbekin as an All-SEC First Team selection....
Florida RB Matt Jones is among the players who are scheduled to miss the Gators' spring football practices due to injury.
Jones, a Tampa Armwood alum, suffered an MCL in his knee in October and missed the remainder of the season. He underwent a second surgery in January to repair damage to the knee, ending any chance to particpate in spring drills. He is expected to be cleared to play in May....
Billy Donovan is not going to ask his Gators to tank in the SEC tournament that begins Wednesday, and if Florida can win it all he most certainly wants that. But his longstanding concerns about the timing of conference tournaments and the start of NCAA play resurfaced this week.
Florida is expected to start the NCAA Tournament next week in Orlando, which begins on a Thursday. If the Gators advance to the SEC tournament final on Sunday, that means a very short turnaround....
Florida Track and Field coach Mike Holloway has been named the South Region Indoor Women's Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association.
Florida’s Arman Hall and Cory McGee were named the USTFCCCA South Region Indoor Men’s and Women’s Athletes of the Year.
Hall, a sophomore, is the No. 2 collegian and No. 3 in the world this year in the 400m (45.28) and No. 3 in the 200m (20.58), good for sixth in the world. Both times came at the SEC Championships, where he won the 200m title and finished runner-up at 400m en route to moving to No. 7 on the all-time collegiate indoor performers list. Hall additionally ran the anchor leg of the runner-up 4×400 relay that tied the old collegiate record and set a new Florida school record (3:03.50)....
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....
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....
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)....
GAINESVILLE — If someone had told Casey Prather four months ago that Florida would become the first team to go 18-0 in Southeastern Conference play, he knows exactly what he would have said.
"I would have told them to get out of my face, I don't believe you," Prather said.
But as he stood outside the locker room at the O'Connell Center on Saturday afternoon with remnants of a basketball net still hanging around his head and neck, he and his three senior teammates basked in the glory of just that accomplishment....