LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Greetings from Rupp Arena, where we're about an hour from tipoff of the regular-season finale between Kentucky and Florida. Some quick pregame thoughts:
It's "Senior" Day for Kentucky, and I put that in quotes because all of the attention will be focused on underclassmen instead of actual seniors Perry Stevenson, Ramon Harris and Mark Krebs, who are all reserves. Junior Patrick Patterson will go through Senior Day ceremonies as he's likely headed to the NBA. And, of course, it's almost certainly the last home game for freshmen John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins and perhaps Eric Bledsoe.
There's no question which team needs this game more. Kentucky has already wrapped up the SEC title and can be assured of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Florida, meanwhile, is as bubble-icious as it comes in at 20-10 (9-6 SEC) and an RPI of 55. A road win over a top-5 team is exactly what the Gators need to impress the selection committee, especially after losing to Vanderbilt at home the last time out.
Kentucky beat Florida 89-77 in Gainesville in the teams' first meeting, but that game was tied with 5:13 left before Bledsoe took over.
Should be some fun matchups in the frontcourt. The Wildcats have a ton of size with Cousins, Patterson and Daniel Orton. But Florida can counter with the 6-foot-10 Vernon Macklin and 6-9 Chandler Parsons, both of whom have elevated their offensive games in recent weeks.