The Gators did something they have not done all season; in a game where Nick Calathes struggled (2-9 shooting, 5 pts), people stepped up. Today it was Walt Hodge (18 pts), Alex Tyus (11 pts) and Erving Walker (10 pts) pushing the Gators to a 60-53 win over Kentucky. Florida (22-9, 9-7) keeps alive hope for a NCAA bid, while Kentucky (19-12, 9-7) is in a pile of poop as big as Secretariat. (You know, because UK wears jerseys like Secretariat's silks? Nevermind.)
Despite shooting 39%, Florida won because they played good enough defense (UK shot 43% from the field, 18% from three), forcing 23 turnovers. Patrick Patterson was great (16 pts, 13 rebounds) but with the exception of Jodie Meeks and Ramon Harris, Kentucky could not find a contributor. For the Gators, at least Dan Werner had 8 points, but had to take 9 shots to get there.
Florida is now locked in to play Arkansas Thursday night, the best possible matchup because Arkansas is the worst team in the SEC West (2-13) and it is the 9:45pm game. Every Gator fan in Tampa will have plenty of time to leave their job at the bank or law firm and get to the game.