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Brunch Buffet: Gators clinch outright title

GAINESVILLE -- There's plenty of nourishment for everyone. 

THANK YOU SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER?

The nation's top ranked men's basketball team clinched the Southeastern Conference regular season title without even taking the court Thursday evening. 

No. 1 Florida earned a share of the SEC title following its win at Vanderbilt on Tuesday, but with No. 17 Kentucky falling at home to Arkansas the Gators won their third outright league championship (2011, 2013, 2014) in the past four seasons. 

By virtue of winning the league title, Billy Donovan's team will be a No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament, have a double-bye and open the quarterfinal round Friday afternoon (March 14; 1 p.m.) in Atlanta (Georgia Dome). 

The Gators host the LSU Tigers this Saturday (4 p.m., CBS) with a chance to extend its 20-game winning streak and cut down the nets in front of their home crowd.   

DEPTH BOLSTERED

According to Florida's resident in-house wordsmith…

Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 11.03.19 AM

We should have more on Hill's status later this afternoon after meeting with Donovan.   

BRACKETOLOGY No. 391,736.0

Couple updated mock brackets… The Gators are No. 1 seed in the South Region (Orlando) in Jerry Palm's latest field of 68. Florida also remains the top seed in the South Region in Joe Lunardi's updated bracket. 

FREEBIE FLAWS PERSIST 

Florida had a nice four-game stretch at the charity stripe before a dreadful performance at the line nearly cost the Gators in Nashville. 

UF's 12 attempts against Vandy were a season-low, while shooting 58 percent (7-of-12) from the stripe was its second-worst effort at the line this season. 

The Gators, thanks in large part to senior center Patric Young's dramatic improvement at the free throw line, had coupled four-straight games -- including three close road tilts -- over 77 percent. 

(at) Tennessee - 77.3 % (17-of-22)

(at) Kentucky 78.8 % (22-of-28)

Auburn 82.1 % (23-of-28)

(at) Ole Miss 78.9 % (15-of-19)

Young, a career 57 percent free throw shooter, is 26 for his last 34 (76 percent) at the charity stripe. 

FOOTBALL SCHEDULE UPDATES

Florida and Florida State officially renewed their annual series through 2018, UF announced Thursday. 

The two state rivals have played annually since 1958 and their current contract was set to expire after the 2014 season. The Gators will host the Seminoles in 2015 and 2017, while they will travel to Tallahassee in 2016 and 2018. 

Meanwhile, Florida also announced an addition to its 2015 schedule, adding a September 12 home game against East Carolina. This made a former Gator Clause blogger quite happy.

Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 11.47.17 AM

LINK DUMP 

* A recap of UF's storylines following the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine

* The Curious Case of DFS - Late last week I called Finney-Smith UF's X-factor and following a dismal month he responded with a terrific (and game-saving) effort against the Commodores. DFS (19 points) outscored Casey Prather, Scottie Wilbekin and Michael Frazier II combined (18 points). 

* Pro Day, anyone

* Following the Gators' annual Junior Day weekend, their 2015 recruiting class continues to grow. And grow. And grow.   

Enjoy the afternoon, everybody.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton 

Comments

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Thanks Jesse, you pretty much touched on all Gator related subjects of current importance.
Basketball is looking strong and thanks for getting Doe Doe out of his slump. Maybe you should call out Hill once he returns to the court.
Go Gators!

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