Desperate Teams Battle as Florida Hosts No. 23 Kentucky in SEC Finale
A pair of desperate teams will square off when the Florida Gators host the 23rd-ranked Kentucky Wildcats in the SEC regular-season finale for both teams. With both teams looking to extend their winning ways, let’s find out which NCAA Basketball National Championship March Madness longshot is offering the best value in this pairing.
Kentucky Wildcats vs Florida Gators Final Score Prediction
No. 23 Kentucky Wildcats (21-9) vs Florida Gators (19-11)
When: Sat. Mar 3, 2018 12:00 PM
Where: Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL
Stream: CBS Sports
Kentucky is suddenly playing like a team full of elite, five-star McDonald’s high school All-Americans after struggling all season long with a lack of focus and maturity. The desperate Wildcats have won four straight and all in absolutely emphatic fashion after dropping their previous four games no less. Kentucky routed Mississippi 96-78 on Wednesday night as Kevin Knox scored a team-high 22 points and Quade Green added 18 points to help the Cats pull away in the second half. Each of Kentucky’s last three wins have all come b at least 15 points while each of their last four victories have all come by double digits.
"It was a win we had to have and I told them after the game," said Wildcats head coach John Calipari, adding that telling them before the game might have made them nervous. "I didn’t want to tell them that, this was like the biggest game of the year for us. This was it."
Florida has won two straight after dropping their previous three games and comes into this contest off an emphatic 73-52 beatdown of Alabama despite being on the road and facing the Crimson Tide on Senior Night. The Gators got a game-high 27 points from Jalen Hudson to give their NCAA Tournament hopes a big-time boost.
"We were very good defensively," Florida coach Mike White said. "In basketball, obviously there’s two teams. It wasn’t all us. I’m sure they missed a few for us as well."
The Gators extracted some revenge for their 68-50 home loss against the Tide earlier in February.
"We felt like we owed them one," Hudson said. "They’re a really great team. They’ve got a lot of good players. We were just trying to compete for 40 minutes and that’s what we did. "
While Florida has won two straight and has a bunch of motivation to keep their borderline NCAA Tournament hopes alive by getting a big win in this contest, I’m going to advise you to back the red-hot Kentucky Wildcats to get the big road win to extract some revenge for their 66-64 home loss to the Gators in late January.
The Wildcats have a bunch of elite talent – and right now – that talent level is showing as they’ve blowing each of their last three opponents out of the water. Florida has lost five of their last nine games, so even though the Gators have won two straight, it’s not like they’re playing like an elite team.
Even though they’re really young all over the place, Kentucky is highly motivated and has a big edge in flat-out talent!