The first of two SEC Tournament Semifinals will see the top-ranked Florida Gators taking on the Tennessee Volunteers. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ABC. Currently the odds for the game have Florida favored by a slim margin here in this contest.
The Gators haven't lost an SEC game all season. They certainly don't want to pick up that first conference defeat in the next few days, either. Florida was slugging it out with Missouri in the tournament on Friday afternoon, but went on a tear late to run away from the Tigers and advance. Today they'll take on a Tennessee team that knocked off South Carolina in their contest on Friday.
Billy Donovan's team has already set a school record for consecutive wins and with each additional victory they add to that number. The streak has reached 24 straight games, with the last four coming by an average of better than 21 points per game. In Friday's win over Missouri the Gators out-scored the Tigers 34-13 in the last 10 minutes of the game. Scottie Wilbekin and Michael Frazier each tossed in 15 points in that game to lead the Gators to this point.
In the two meetings between these clubs this season Florida obviously won, having not dropped a conference game yet. The Gators beat up on Tennessee in both games, winning by an average of 22.5 points. Tennessee had won three straight over Florida before this season. Tennessee is still looking to punch their tickets to the Big Dance and a victory over Florida would all but assure that. The Vols, much like Florida, have been blowing people out lately. Tennessee has won their last four games by an average of 26 points.
Defensively, they've been on fire. Tennessee has held their last four opponents to just over 45 points per game. Florida is also an excellent defensive clubs. This game could be the slow, half-court style of basketball that sees neither team really get into an offensive rhythm and score a lot of points. Both Jarnell Stokes and Jordan McRae are going to have to get into double figures for Tennessee to have a chance. Tennessee hasn't played for the SEC crown since 2009 while the Gators have appeared in two of the last three tournament finals overall. We think that continues as the Gators should be the winning team here.
Free Pick: Florida 62, Tennessee 54
Handicapping Tips: College Conference Tournaments
What college basketball bettors need to know about betting the upcoming conference tournaments. Handicapping tips and insight provided by Pregame.com's Steve Fezzik, David Glisan & Brady Kannon.
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