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CBB Florida at Kentucky Preview

February 10, 2007

College Basketball - Florida Gators (+3Ĺ, 142Ĺ) at Kentucky Wildcats 9:00 PM EST

Joakim NoahItís not very often Kentucky can play the role of a SEC underdog, however they can move a within a game of top ranked Florida with a win in the Blue Grass State.

Since the SEC divided into two six-team divisions, Kentucky has not failed to go two seasons without getting at least a share of the East title. They can take a step closer in this prime time televised special.

The Wildcats were 4-3 after losing to North Carolina in early December and were quickly forgotten about in the national picture. Coach Tubby Smith didnít give in on his team and knew the competition had been a challenge, yet knew his team was not that far away. Smith has often had his most successful seasons when expectations were a little lower.

Kentucky led by Randolph Morris rattled 11 wins in a row before being tamed at home by a hot Vanderbilt club and followed that effort with another mediocre performance at Georgia. Big Blue came right back and pulled the upset at Arkansas and played a magnificent first half in last game at home against South Carolina before coasting to victory.

One of the more popular betting sides this past week was Georgia plus the points against number one Florida. Coach Billy Donovan has found complacency, not necessarily the opposing team his biggest opponent. The Gators have chewing up the competition and does not always forty minutes. When challenged his team has stepped up the floor game and easily took care of the Bulldogs 71-61 after leading by 15 or more points most of the game. On tap is another big game in enemy territory as they attempt to stay unbeaten in league play.

Kentuckyís biggest task is to contain the top shooting team in the country. Focusing on either the inside or the outside game will not necessarily be the correct answer. The Gators shooting in SEC action is phenomenal. In nine conference games they are making better then 54 percent from the field and a scary 51% from behind the three point arc.

Kentucky is only 5-5 ATS after not covering a spread and 1-4 ATS against teams with winning records. Florida is 7-2 ATS in true road games the last two seasons and 3-2 this year. If the Wildcats allow 47 percent or higher shooting like they have in four of last five games they will get beat. If instead they can control Florida they will have a shot at the upset. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in last five meetings.

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