Mar 15, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Florida Gators forward Casey Prather (24) makes technical foul free throws as the Tennessee Volunteers players look on during the second half in the semifinals of the SEC college basketball tournament at Georgia Dome. Florida defeated Tennessee 56-49. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Gators Bait & Bits: Free Throw Woes, Gymnastics Finally at the Top, FLax, and an Awesome Contest


Welcome to Bait & Bits, a series on Hail Florida Hail that will feature one “bait” about an opposing school and some bits about the Gators. Have any links that you want on Bait & Bits? Tweet it at us @HailFloridaHail or @BrettKaplan13 or email it to us at [email protected].

Bait

Florida State Baseball. Florida will host the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles (17-2) Tuesday night at McKethan Stadium. While FSU has held the advantage overall (125-101-1), the Gators own the Noles in Gainesville. Florida has a 53-47 mark at home, including 5-1 advantage at the Mac under Kevin O’Sullivan. A win here would do great things for this young Florida team.  Sophomore lefty Danny Young (2-0, 3.00) takes the bump for UF while senior Peter Miller (1-0, 8.68) will start for FSU. First pitch at 7 pm.

Bits

Weakness for Florida Basketball? If Florida has a weakness, it is most definitely foul shooting. The Gators shot only 66.6% from the charity stripe during the season. They were improving upon that percentage before the SEC Tournament. Then everything fell apart. The two biggest free throws Florida missed were against Kentucky on the front-ends of one-and-ones. With under 25 seconds less, Scottie Wilbekin (!) missed his first, something he was money on down the stretch in tight games. Luckily for the Gators, Dorian Finney-Smith got the offensive rebound and was fouled himself. But he followed suit, missed the first free throw and gave Kentucky a chance to win the game. Florida shot 50% (27-54) from the free throw line, including a terrible 41.1% (7-17) against the Wildcats. If I’m Billy Donovan, I’m making them shoot 1,000 free throws a day before Thursday. Not getting those free points and sink the Gators in tight tourney games.

Gymastics Finally #1. Gymnastics did just as expected and vaulted into the number one slot in the latest rankings.  Florida had their second highest score, and third highest in the nation this season in a win at Missouri. UF now has the highest RQS, which calculated by taking a team’s  top six regular-season-meet scores,  (three must be away), removing the highest score, then taking the average of the remaining five scores.

FLax Steady at #4. Despite a loss at No. 3 Syracuse, Florida maintained their ranking at No. 4. Florida beat Winthrop last week before falling to Syracuse. The Gators have played a tough schedule this year, losing only at top-ranked North Carolina and third-ranked Syracuse. This week, they play Dartmouth and at No. 20 Ohio State.

Win Good Stuff. Do you want to go to the Final Four to potentially see Florida play? You can if you enter our March Madness Giveaway. Hail Florida Hail and Fansided are giving three lucky readers the chance to win two Final Four ticket in Dallas, a $500 shopping spree from RetailMeNot.com, or a pair of tickets to any MLB Opening Day game. Sounds pretty sweet to me. Just go check this out, do as they say, and you could find yourself at Jerry’s World the first weekend in April. Special thanks to RetailMeNot.com and TiqIQ.com.

Schedule for Tuesday.
6:00pm Softball vs. Central Connecticut State
6:30pm Lacrosse vs. Dartmouth
7:00pm Baseball vs. Florida State

All games are on campus, so come out and support the Gators!

For more on the Gators make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@HailFloridaHail and @BrettKaplan13).

Tags: Baseball Basketball Florida Gators Giveaway Gymnastics Lacrosse