It was a thrilling pair of weekend write-ups that probably came out about the way they should have. Kentucky started things with that lucky cover against Texas with a final minute push to extend the lead to 12. But then Arizona missed a chance to cover the four points on Saturday night when the ‘Cats grabbed a rebound on a missed free throw with three seconds left in a one possession game. But Gonzaga didn’t foul and UA came up a point short.
The record sits at .500 through five picks this month with another five coming up. On Monday night, we go down to Gainesville for Florida and Yale.
Before the New Jersey Institute of Technology took down Michigan in Ann Arbor, the big win of the weekend in college basketball came on Friday night when Yale went to UConn and shocked the defending national champs. With a three-ball in the corner with two seconds left, Yale left Storrs with a win an and 8-2 record. The ‘dogs have lost once at Quinnipiac (in double-overtime) and once more at Providence. But now Yale gets its toughest test yet down in Florida against a very desperate Gator team.
It didn’t take long for Florida to fall a long way from its preseason top-10 spot it had just a few weeks ago. Billy Donovan’s team has lost four of its first seven and hasn’t won since a Nov. 27 matchup with UAB. The Gators haven’t played well, but they’ve also fallen victim to a challenging schedule and a bit of an overrated preseason ranking. Florida lost the four seniors that led last year’s team to yet another Elite Eight, but it has retained enough of a core going forward to get back into the top-25. But a lot of pressure sits on Michael Frazier and Dorian Finney-Smith to score the basketball. And after each had a great season in 2013/14 as spot-up, role scorers, an uptick in leadership will take some time to adjust to. Florida has shot just 30 percent from three so far this season, which is a number that should only go up – starting tonight. The Gators may have lost tons of production from last year, but they’ll be ok going forward. And after a really frustrating loss at Phog Allen Fieldhouse after playing so well in the first half against the Jayhawks, a little home cooking should be the answer for the Gators. UF in a romp.
Free Pick: Florida -9
2014 CBB: 5-5-1 +0.50