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Florida Took Kentucky To the Woodshed To Win Its First SEC Tournament Title 70 - 53


Today's SEC Championship game was a rematch of last Sunday's game with Florida, in name only.  Except for the first 8 minutes of the second half that saw Kentucky fight its way to a brief 44 - 40 lead, Florida simply had their own way with Kentucky.  As result, Florida takes home its first ever SEC Tournament Championship, and Kentucky is left to wait on the NCAA selection committee to see whether they can retain a #1 seed.  

After Kentucky moved out to that 4 point lead inside 12 to play in the game, Florida reasserted inself behind three for three three pointers by Walsh, and Kentucky stumbled its way to the final buzzer. 

Florida provided yet another resounding reminder about Kentucky's rebounding woes.  While outrebounding Kentucky tonight by 17, they dominated the offensive glass, seeminly shooting until they scored in the first half when they had 10 more possessions and 12 more shots than lethargic Kentucky.  This game also pointed to Kentucky's other weakness on the season, e.g free throw shooting.  However, the poor free throw shooting was not decisive like the rebounding was.  Kentucky grabbed 8 offensive rebounds and Florida pulled down 16 offensive rebounds.  Kentucky had a total of 78 possessions, including 8 second chance possessions, while LSU had 84 possessions, 16 from offensive rebounds.  Kentucky's offensive efficiency for the game was an anemic 0.680 ppp, second lowest of the season, Kansas 0.656 ppp.  Kentucky's performance today was much lower than the 0.872 ppp I predicted.   Kentucky's strong defensive ability was prevalent again today, as they held Florida to 0.833 ppp slightly better than the 0.864 ppp I predicted

Based on Season performance of both teams, as well as their schedule strength for this year, I predicted a 1 point Kentucky win, 70 - 69.

Kentucky now turns its attention to the big dance.  However, every Cat fan must be concerned about Kentucky's struggling offense, rebounding problems, and free throw shooting problems that surfaced again in the loss today.


 

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Copyright 2004 Richard Cheeks
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