Florida is starting to look like it deserves the hype that had it pegged as favorites to win the SEC this year. With an 81-75, overtime win at Tennessee, the Gators improved to 13-3 and 2-0 in the conference, taking their fifth straight since that head-scratching loss to Jacksonville on Dec. 20.
The Vols have had some really questionable losses, and coach Bruce Pearl had to sit out because he's a bad boy, but they also beat Villanova, Pitt and Memphis, and a win at UT is never something to scoff at.
Pretty balanced game for UF, as all five starters scored in double-digits, and the Gators shot a blazing 52 percent from the field, including hitting 8 of 16 three-pointers. Good to see Alex Tyus lead the way with 18 points and seven rebounds after putting in just two points and three boards against Ole Miss. Florida really needs Tyus (pictured) to be a threat and he hasn't shown that consistently, but let's all stop and applaud him for finally putting an end to one of the worst hairstyles of all time last month.
Also of note, Chandler Parsons went 4-for-5 from downtown, and Billy Donovan played each of his starters for more than 30 minutes. He came close to doing the same in the SEC opener against Ole Miss, where only Tyus came up short at 27 minutes. This is a departure from the sub-happy scheme Donovan used earlier in the season, and it'll be interesting to see what he does as conference play heats up.
Forward/center/beast Patric Young had seven rebounds off the bench, and guard Scottie Wilbekin (pictured rapping alongside Lil Wayne) came in and had three assists and three steals. Both were turnover-free.
Next up is a home meeting with South Carolina on Saturday, and a win there should be enough to get the Gators back in the rankings.
Thoughts on the game? Gotta say that "play" for a winning shot at the end of regulation was pretty pitiful, but other than that it's a good result.