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Florida Gators (13) @ Kentucky Wildcats (22): Open Game Thread

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This is the official A Sea of Blue open game thread for the Florida Gators @ Kentucky Wildcats contest today in Rupp Arena. Kentucky returns from a trip to Fayetteville with yet another loss, this time to the Arkansas Razorbacks for their sixth loss on the SEC road this year. This afternoon, they try to rebound against the East Division-leading Florida Gators.

Game particulars as follows, courtesy of

Florida @ Kentucky
Game Notes Kentucky Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader | Florida Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader
Date & Time Sat., Feb. 26, 4:00 p.m. ET
Coverage TV: CBS
Radio: BBSN
Online Audio HTML View
Text Updates
Location Rupp Arena
Lexington, Ky.

For Kentucky, this is a huge game. Of course, there have been many huge games, including the last one, but they just keep getting bigger and bigger as Kentucky's post-season prospects shrink. The Wildcats are in no real danger of missing the tournament, but another loss after the Arkansas failure could drop them yet another seed line. Keep going and the Wildcats might match the 2008 team and reach double digits.

But tonight, the Wildcats are back in the comfy confines of Rupp Arena, where the Wildcats have yet to suffer a defeat, or even a really close game. The dissonance between the away and home games this season has been stark to say the very least, and if the Wildcats can bring the same game to Rupp Arena they have brought all year, this could be a big shot in the arm for this struggling team.

Keys to a Wildcat win:

  1. Defense. If Kentucky brings the intensity on defense we have seen recently in Rupp, they will be very tough to beat.
  2. Focus on Parsons. Chandler Parsons is a tough matchup for everyone with his size, passing, and shooting ability. If Kentucky can force him to struggle, Florida will struggle.
  3. Get to the line as much as possible. Kentucky just hasn't been getting to the line enough lately, and they need to take advantage of the home court to get there more often.
  4. Defend the pick and roll. Kentucky thwarted Florida's pick and roll game last time, and made them struggle to score.
  5. Terrence Jones. Kentucky needs a lot of Jones in the post today.

Keys to a Florida win:

  1. Chandler Parsons. This guy has been the man for Florida, and when he plays well, Florida wins.
  2. Get into Kentucky's bench. Kentucky is not a deep team, and the further into the bench you can go, the better your chances to upset the Wildcats.
  3. Offensive rebound. Kentucky is very tough on the offensive glass at home. If Florida can handle them there, they have an advantage.
  4. Don't turn the ball over. Florida's late 2nd-half turnovers in Gainesville almost cost them the game.

Home game, home advantage. Kentucky needs to take advantage and win this ball game.

Go, 'Cats!