Kentucky is clearly the team to beat in the SEC. Big Blue Nation has to be thrilled with the young talent assembled by John Calipari.
I believe there is one team that can give the Wildcats a challenge: Florida. Mike White's team has won five straight following a victory over a feisty, young Tennessee team.
The Gators' defense is its trademark and they force a lot of turnovers. Florida has a lot of experience to counter the talented backcourt of Malik Monk and De'Aaron Fox. Payers like Kasey Hill, Chris Chiozza and KeVaughn Allen won't back down against the Wildcats.
Allen is a flat-out winner. He is also an outstanding shooter, exceptional at the foul line and has a scorer's mentality.
Hill came out of high school as a highly-regarded prospect. He has worked on his shooting and he has the ability to drive, dish and deliver the rock. Hill has done a much better job this year than in the past.
Florida has had several quality wins. The Gators have Ws over Seton Hall, Miami, St. Bonaventure and Arkansas. The team's three losses have come against teams currently in the rankings -- Gonzaga by five, Florida State by five and Duke by 10.
Against the Vols, Florida did a super job in the second half on both ends of the court. The final margin was not indicative of how competitive the game was.
The Gators hit all seven of their 3-point attempts in the second half. Canyon Barry showed why he is a member of my All-Rolaids team, providing relief off the bench. Justin Leon showed his outside shooting ability.
The offensive efficiency was superb. Florida was able to move the ball around the perimeter and get good shots.
This Gator team has been at a disadvantage. The Tennessee game was just the third true home contest in Gainesville. The O-Dome was being renovated. The Rowdy Reptiles have something to smile about right now.
It looks like the SEC will be a battle between Kentucky and Florida for the top spot.