With the SEC Tournament Championship on the line, Kentucky defeated Florida 70-54 to take the title decisively.
The game was closer than the score indicates, but not by much. Kentucky was the more assertive team, taking an early lead and almost never letting up. UK also was much better defensively, forcing 14 Gator turnovers while only giving up six themselves. Terrence Jones finally woke up and had a good SEC Tournament game, with 16 points and seven boards. Brandon Knight led all scorers with 17, though it came on 5-14 shooting. Both Wildcats who hurt their ankles yesterday, Doron Lamb and DeAndre Liggins, showed no ill effects.
For Florida, it was a game cast from the same die as their last two in Atlanta. They were sloppy early, falling behind and staying behind for most of the first half. They never caught fire in the second half as they did against Tennessee and Vanderbilt, though. Kenny Boynton was 4-16, Chandler Parsons was 4-12, and Erving Walker was 3-10.
Billy Donovan was furious at the referees throughout, and it's not hard to figure out why. Prior to the last couple minutes when Florida began fouling to extend the game, Kentucky had a 19-8 edge in free throws attempted. Walker and Boynton, who drove through the lane all game, never attempted a single one. Even so, Florida only made three of those eight while Kentucky hit 16 of their 19.
The tougher and more aggressive team won the game today. Both teams are likely to have a 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament.