The biggest game of the 2013-2014 season for Florida basketball has arrived.
No. 3 Florida will travel to Lexington for their first of two games with No. 14 Kentucky tonight at Rupp Arena.
This game marks the sixth time Florida (22-2, 11-0 Southeastern Conference) will be featured on College GameDay. Five out of the six times have been games against Kentucky (19-5, 9-2 SEC).
Although the SEC is not known as a basketball conference, it’s easy to point out that Florida/Kentucky is one of the best rivalries it has in the sport. The Wildcats are the one conference team that has given the Gators the most trouble over the years. Kentucky has dominated the all-time series 94-34 and own a 48-8 record when playing against the Gators at home. Florida has not won at Rupp Arena since 2007.
The environment the Gators are heading into tonight will, no question, be the most hostile one they have experienced up to this point. The venue seats 23,000, and every one of those seats is taken to watch this top 15 matchup. Other opponents have found it difficult to win on the Wildcats’s turf, as Kentucky sports a 22-game home winning streak.
So far in the season, Florida has proven to be successful on the road in the SEC with a 5-0 record in away conference games. However, it will be ultimately tested tonight.
Kentucky has better averages of points per game (78.8) and rebounds per game (41.9) and a better field goal percentage (.468) than Florida (71.2, 41.9 and .461). But UF is older and more seasoned than UK’s all-freshman contingent.
Overall, it will be interesting to see how the most heated rivalry in SEC basketball plays out.
Florida’s probable starters include senior forwards Casey Prather and Will Yeguete, senior center Patric Young, senior guard Scottie Wilbekin and sophomore guard Michael Frazier II. Kentucky will likely start freshman forward Julius Randle, freshman center Dakari Johnson and freshman guards James Young and twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison.
Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. Catch the game on TV through ESPN, on the radio through Gator IMG Sports Network and Country 103.7 The Gator or streaming through WatchESPN (if your cable provider allows it). For more on this game, check out the Q&A we did with our friends at Wildcat Blue Nation.