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What you need to know for Wildcats vs. Gators Round 2.

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Wildcat Mascot Isamu Haynes-Sunayama - Sea of Blue

Kentucky Basketball vs. Florida Gators


The college basketball regular season is coming to a close, as the Kentucky Wildcats will head to Gainesville to take on a desperate Florida Gators squad in the regular-season finale.

This will be the second matchup of the season for the Cats and Gators, as Kentucky came out victorious in mid-February with a 78-57 win.

Why are the Gators desperate?

Well, Florida is currently the definition of on the bubble. They currently sit in the ‘Next Four Out’ category at ESPN with their current resume, and Saturday’s game is the perfect opportunity for them to make a statement.

Mike White’s squad will come into Saturday’s matchup at 19-11 (9-8 SEC) on the season. With a huge win over Auburn a few weeks back, the Gators will be looking to make it two big home wins in the final month as what has otherwise been a very mediocre season.

Most will remember from the previous matchup that Florida loves to shoot the three, as they come into the matchup shooting just over 26 per game.

Unfortunately for Gator fans, they aren't the best at the one thing they love to do, as they only hit on 32% of those attempts.

But when they get hot, these Gators are hard to stop.

According to KenPom Florida is currently the 50th best team in the country, as they possess the 32nd best offense in the country, and the 79th defense overall.

Individually, Florida is led by Colin Castleton. After battling an injury mid-season, the talented big man seems to be back to full strength and should give Oscar Tshiebwe a solid battle in the post all afternoon long.

Coming into the game Castleton is averaging 16.1 points per game on 54% shooting from the field. He also is adding 9.0 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in his 24 games played this season.

Alongside Castleton, Florida will look to Tyree Appleby (11.4 PPG) and Phlandrous Fleming Jr. (10.9 PPG) to help keep pace with an efficient Kentucky offense. Myreon Jones (9.1 PPG) is also a threat from three, as he is currently shooting 35% from behind the arch this season.

For Kentucky, this matchup will come down to establishing rhythm once again with a fully healthy roster. This road environment should be the perfect test as they face off against a team that needs a win.

In the first matchup, Oscar Tshiebwe had one of his best performances of the season with 27 points on 11/18 shooting and 19 boards. Similar to the Ole Miss game on Tuesday night, expect John Calipari to try and feed his star big man early and often on Saturday.

There could be a little bit of bad blood in this matchup after what happened the firs time these two teams met. It started when TyTy Washington went down with an injury after Florida guard Brandon McKissic fell into his leg diving for a loose ball. It looked serious at the time, but thankfully, Washington is now back in the lineup and appears to be healthy.

Later in the game, Florida guard Phlandrous Fleming Jr. pushed Ware in the back, but the sophomore big man kept his composure as Kentucky went on to thump Florida by 21 points. Ware ended up having arguably the best game of his young career with seven boards and four points.

Overall, Kentucky is the better team and should be able to pull out a comfortable victory in Gainesville with an A+ performance. But one thing is for certain: This is a big-time resume game for Florida, if they hope to make it into the big dance.

Should be a fun one.