Florida vs. Auburn, Game Thread: Gators seeking record-setting win

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Florida will look to make some history tonight in the O'Connell Center.

Oh, 17? That has been done three times. But this Florida team, one coming of age and rounding into form at the best possibile moment, can set a record by getting to 18 consecutive wins on Wednesday night against Auburn in the O'Connell Center (7 p.m., Sun Sports/Fox Sports Net or ESPN3).

And, well, Auburn doesn't seem to pose much of a challenge for these Gators.

It's not that the Tigers lack for talent, especially in the backcourt. Chris Denson and K.T. Harrell average 20.9 and 19.2 points per game, respectively, and each could go off against the Gators; Denson scored 20 and Harrell 18 in Florida's 68-61 win over the Tigers in Auburn a month ago. Tahj Shamsid-Deen has a great name and a very Erving Walker-ish game, scores 9.4 points per contest, and boasts a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, rare in the SEC this year.

And Auburn was in that January game until the final couple of minutes thanks to some white-hot three-point shooting. The Tigers own the closest loss to Florida since the Gators' 84-82 win at Arkansas, and, given Florida's roll of late, that's worth something.

But Auburn also hasn't been a good road team, especially in SEC play, where the Tigers have gone 1-6. That lone win came at South Carolina, arguably the SEC's worst team — and it's the only win Auburn's gotten outside its home arena this season, as the Tigers went 0-2 in games away from home in non-conference play. (Yes, they played just two games away from home, and one was at a neutral site.)

Florida, on the other hand, has been maybe the nation's best home team. Certainly, the Gators have been dominant at home against SEC foes, winning all six game by at least nine points and rolling up those wins by an average of 19.3 points per game. And Auburn's much closer to teams like Texas A&M (lost by 33) and South Carolina (lost by 16) than Missouri (lost by 10) or Alabama (lost by nine).

Even with Kasey Hill out, likely to keep him from aggravating a groin injury sustained at Kentucky, Florida should have more than enough to take care of the Tigers tonight, and run its winning streak to 18 games.

And if these Gators do that, after a week of stats with the caveat of "since 2007" tacked on, they will have made some history of their own.

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