For the top ranked Florida Gator men?s basketball team the regular season is over and the post-season begins.??After routing the Kentucky Wildcats last Saturday, the Gators are rested and ready to take the court on Friday to begin their slate in the SEC tournament.
Florida’s?opponent in this quarterfinal matchup is none other than the Missouri Tigers (22-10, 9-9) who will be going into Friday?s matchup fresh off a double overtime victory over the Texas A&M Aggies on Thursday.
The Gators and Tigers have met one time this season in Gainesville where the Gators came away with a 10?point victory in freshman Chris Walker?s first game of the season. Despite the win, the Gators were tested and they no doubt will get the Tigers best on Friday.
The Gators however are riding high having won their last 23 games and sit 18-0 against the SEC this year.?Despite his team sweeping the majority of SEC awards to end the regular season, Gator coach Billy Donovan says his team?s ranking does not affect their mindset when they step onto the court.
?Our guys aren?t running around saying they?re the number one team in the country. They?re just playing, and everything gets hyped up. When the ball is in the air, all the standings and rankings are thrown out the window,? Donovan said.
This year?s Gator basketball team has been compared a lot to the team that won back to back national championships in 2006 and 2007. One thing that is for sure is the senior leadership can lead this team all the way through the month of March. Behind guards Scottie Wilbekin and Casey Prather, forward Will Yeguete and center Patric Young the Gators have a very good shot at being the number one overall seed in the NCAA tournament.
The road to that goal for the Gators begins against the Tigers and?Young says they cannot look past any opponent put in front of them.
?We have a goal of taking it one game at a time, and it?s really important for us to focus on the moment and get better every game,? Young said.
The Gators and Tigers will play on Friday for a spot in the semi-finals against either the Tennessee Volunteers or South Carolina Gamecocks.? You can hear all the action of Friday?s game on Country?103-7 The Gator with coverage starting at 12:25 followed by tip at 1pm.??
For pre-game sound from Gator head coach Billy Donovan and senior center Patric Young click on the links below: