Florida vs. Alabama, Game Thread: Gators look to sweep Crimson Tide

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida had to hold off Alabama in Tuscaloosa the last time the two teams played. It might not be so difficult on this Saturday.

Since Florida beat Alabama 68-62 in Tuscaloosa way back on January 23, the Gators have only gotten better. Florida's won all of the four games since by double digits, and by an average of 20 points per game.

Alabama has not had the same success.

The Crimson Tide come to Gainesville this Saturday for a noon game (ESPN or ESPN3) on a 1-3 skid since their gritty loss to the Gators, and they've looked bad in all three losses, whether by getting skunked by 19 points at Auburn or letting Arkansas's Bobby Portis put up 35 points, nine rebounds, and six blocks against them on a night when the rest of the Razorbacks combined to score just 30 points.

A season that looked like a potential make-or-break year for former Florida assistant Anthony Grant now looks like a lost campaign, and the Gators will almost assuredly make things worse today. Alabama hasn't been closer to Florida in Gainesville than nine points since Grant arrived in Tuscaloosa, and Florida has a slightly healthier Casey Prather — starting today despite a nagging ankle injury — and a significantly more eligible Chris Walker than it did when it pulled away against the Tide a little over two weeks ago.

Florida shot poorly from inside the arc in that win, making just 13 of 33 buckets, with Prather limping to a 6-for-16 performance that was only his fifth outing of worse than 50 percent shooting on the year. If Prather can improve, and Michael "Hot Pockets" Frazier (5-for-13 against the Tide on January 23) can heat up a little faster than he has in SEC play...

...then Florida could have a third consecutive Saturday runaway — the Gators have won their last two Saturday games by 26 and 33 points — on their hands.

I'll be at the game and running errands shortly afterward, so the recap is probably going to be a bit delayed, but I seriously doubt that there will be all that much new to say, unless Trevor Releford has the day of his life.

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