One road game is all you need as a warm up when facing the No. 5 team in the nation, right? Well, like it or not, that’s the situation the No. 21 Florida Gators are in tonight, as they take on perennial powerhouse Duke in the Jimmy V. Classic in Madison Square Garden.
Those who know me know I’m much more of a football guy, but due to our fearless leader Andy’s poor Internet connection at the moment, he has called upon me to set up the game thread for you guys. So let’s get to some of the #facts.
The Blue Devils come into tonight’s match up with eight wins on the year. Coincidentally, that’s the same number of all-american players they will be bringing to the court to face Florida. KenPom.com has Duke rated No. 2 nationally (No. 1 offense, No. 18 defense), and the Gators at No. 12 (No. 24 offense, No. 8 defense). On paper, it’s a matchup that certainly favors Duke in terms of scoring, but Florida’s defense and experience will give the Blue Devils a challenge they haven’t seen since their season-opening loss against the Kansas Jayhawks.
A win tonight would also mean Florida ending a five-game losing streak to non-conference top-five opponents. Also, for your fun fact of the game, Gators head coach Mike White’s father is actually the athletic director at Duke. So he can stick it to the old man with a big win tonight that would mean a lot for this program moving forward. That’s a double win in my book.
The game can be seen on ESPN with tip off right at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, and can also be streamed online with WatchESPN here.
Enjoy the game, and Go Gators!