Kentucky Wildcats vs. Florida Gators College Basketball Betting Preview

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Feb/04/2011
Kentucky Wildcats vs. Florida Gators College Basketball Betting

This Kentucky Wildcats vs. Florida Gators College basketball betting preview is courtesy of our friends at Sportsbook.com.  Please visit the Sportsbook.com website for the latest odds (not yet published at press time). 

At 6-2 and leading their rivals from the Bluegrass state by a game and a half in the SEC East, the Florida Gators are exactly where they hoped to be in the first week of February. At 4-3 and struggling to establish a consistent level of play on the road, especially in conference action, the No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats are probably about where John Calipari thought his young team, laced with wall-to-wall freshmen and sophomores, would be as well. Calipari knows what it’s like to coach talented freshmen, and witness the frustration that comes with the growing pains. At times this year Calipari’s “kiddie kats” have been as exhilarating as they have been exasperating. Fortunately for Coach Cal, he has enough talent to withstand the learning curve in his young stars, and still be ranked 10th in the country, and in the hunt for the top spot in the SEC East, which just goes to show you, it’s good to be Coach Cal.

The Gators are coming off a huge 65-61 overtime victory Tuesday night over visiting Vanderbilt. The win did not come without some controversy. While Kenny Boynton’s go-ahead three-pointer with a hand in his face gave Florida a 63-61 lead, John Jenkins’ three-point attempt with Boynton’s well-placed hand on his back went horribly awry. The Commodores bench went ballistic, but the referee whistles remained silent. Small consolation for Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings after the game, when Boynton admitted to committing a foul on the play. "I think I got him, but I think on the other end they missed some fouls, too," Boynton said. "If they called it, they called it. I think I jumped too high and he kind of tried to draw it. It was a foul, but they missed it." We've heard of the luck of the Irish. Call this the luck of the Gators. Senior Chandler Parsons led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds. It marked the fourth straight game Parsons has posted double figures in rebounds and his second double-double in his past three games. Junior Erving Walker (14.5 PPG) is averaging 19.0 PPG in his past three games, while backcourt mate Boynton (13.0 PPG) has hit some of the biggest shots of the year for the Gators.

 

The Wildcats are coming off of a shocking road defeat at the hands of the Ole Miss Rebels, 71-69 Tuesday in Oxford. Chris Warren’s three-pointer with 2.9 seconds remaining sent the Wildcats down to their third defeat in SEC play, and its second loss in two weeks to a team from the SEC West, perceived as the weak half of the conference. All of Kentucky’s defeats in league play have come on the road (of its five overall defeats, four have been on the road, the fifth game was on a “neutral” court). That is what makes a game in Gainesville against a team at the top of the standings more than just important. It is a challenge to Calipari to see who amongst his young ‘Cats will answer the call in a game that could make a major statement about this team for the remainder of the year. To meet the challenge, Calipari will need to see the best that leading scorer freshman Terrence Jones (17.9 PPG, 9.0 RPG) and fellow frosh Brandon Knight (17.2 PPG, 3.8 APG) can bring to the table. Jones responded against Ole Miss with 22 points and 12 boards, his second double-double in SEC play this season. In the past monster games from Jones have been followed by lackluster performances. Wildcat fans are hoping that Saturday night Jones and Knight can show that they have arrived…for good.

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