The Kentucky men’s basketball team , standing as the only undefeated team in the country, survived the test of all test Saturday night at the O’Connell Center.
Being number one is never easy. Everyone wants to knock off the number one team, which is exactly what Florida came to do Saturday night. Kentucky came into the Florida game only allowing their opponents to shoot 33% from the field. Kentucky got off to a slow start allowing Florida to come in and dominate in almost every aspect of the game. The Wildcats have consistently been the top team in the country when it comes to blocks per game, but that was certainly not the case during this game.
The Wildcats had ten turnovers in just the first half of the game. They had a very difficult time containing Florida, specifically the quick and powerful guard, Michael Frazier II. Being One of the best three point shooters in the country, Frazier proved to be a threat and too much for the Wildcats inside and out. He was unstoppable. At one point during the game Florida led the Wildcats 26-18 with 7:19 left before the end of the first half. With just five minutes left in the first half, Frazier experienced an unexpected ankle injury that would prevent him from scoring anymore points before going in for half time. Florida led Kentucky by 2 at the half.
Kentucky came out in the second half and still seemed stunned by the performance that Florida was putting on. They were still having trouble stopping Florida inside the paint and turning the ball over. It almost looked as if the Wildcats came looking to play a 12-5 team, which is not what we saw on the court. Kentucky led briefly 2-0 at the beginning of the first half. The Wildcats were not able to regain the lead until the 17:37 mark in the second half. The lead came after a jumper made by Karl-Anthony Townes, giving the Wildcats a 35 to 33 advantage.
Although the game was very close and physically tough for both teams; Kentucky proved to be too talented for the Gators or were they? Many speculate weather the Wildcats would have still gotten the victory if guard Frazier was healthy and on the court during the second half. We will never know. Kentucky pulled off the 68-61 win against Florida to remain undefeated with a perfect of 23-0 .
The Wildcats will take on the LSU Tigers this Tuesday, February 10, at 7:00 pm on ESPN.