Kentucky vs. Florida prediction and game preview. The Gators try to sweep the season series when they travel to Lexington to face the Wildcats on Saturday.
Kentucky vs. Florida Game Preview
When: Saturday, Feb. 25 – 2 p.m. ET
Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ken.
TV Broadcast: CBS
Florida is one of the hottest teams in the country, and Kentucky knows all about it. Part of the Gators’ nine-game winning streak, which is the second-longest active streak in the country behind SMU’s 10-game run, was a dominating 88-66 home victory over the Wildcats on Feb. 4. Florida got 21 points and six assists from Kasey Hill while holding Kentucky to 37.7 shooting from the field and also getting solid efforts from Devin Robinson (16 points, nine rebounds) and Canyon Barry (14 points).
One major difference in this meeting, though, is the Gators being without big man John Egbunu, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. Florida (23-5, 13-2 SEC) has yet to have much of an issue with Egbunu out and is coming off an 81-66 win over South Carolina on Tuesday, pulling away in the second half behind 26 points from KeVaughn Allen.
The Gators are tied atop the SEC with the Wildcats (23-5, 13-2), who have won five in a row since losing at Florida. But they struggled in a five-point win over Georgia last Saturday and were in a battle for most of Tuesday’s 72-62 win at Missouri before pulling away down the stretch.
Bam Adebayo had his best all-around game of the season with 22 points and 15 rebounds, but Malik Monk’s struggles continued. Monk has shot 7 of 23 from the field over his last two games, including 1 of 5 from 3-point range in each contest.
Kentucky Wins If …
… Monk gets going early. It has to be frustrating for the standout freshman, who has combined for 27 points his last two games despite averaging 21.1 on the season. His shots haven’t been falling, and it’s no coincidence that Kentucky has struggled against mediocre opponents. Isaiah Briscoe, one of the few veteran leaders for the Wildcats, hasn’t been much better either lately, missing each of his eight 3-point attempts over the last four games and scoring nine points in each of his last two.
Florida Wins If …
… Robinson develops consistency with a second straight solid game. He’s developed a bit of a habit recently by following up a good performance with a dud, then bouncing back. Robinson went scoreless in last Saturday’s win over Mississippi State before playing well against South Carolina, continuing a trend that’s last a good portion of the season. He scored 16 points and grabbed nine boards in the first meeting against Kentucky and could be the X-factor in this one.
Matchup To Watch
Hill vs. De’Aaron Fox
The two battled in the first matchup, as Hill finished with a season high-tying 21 points and six assists while Fox had 19 points, including hitting 9 of 10 from the free throw line. The extremely quick point guards won’t need to be spectacular again in this contest, but they’ll need to be productive and efficient by taking care of the ball.
Spread: No line as of post
Over/Under: No line as of post
Kentucky vs. Florida Prediction
The Wildcats exact some revenge. Monk snaps out of his slump and scores 24 points as the Gators struggle to hit shots in Rupp, ending their winning streak.
Kentucky vs. Florida final score prediction: Kentucky 77, Florida 70