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Dinner Buffett: Gators stay on top, more hoops tidbits

GAINESVILLE -- Dig in.

Florida, winners of a school-record 23 straight games, finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, a first in school history.

After becoming the first team ever in the Southeastern Conference to go 18-0 in league play, Billy Donovan gave his players a well-deserved two days off (Sunday, Monday) before the team resumes practice Tuesday and travels to Atlanta for the SEC tournament Thursday.

The Gators (29-2) will open play Friday at 1 p.m. against the winner of Missouri (21-10) and Texas A&M (17-14). 

Florida partied hard following its throttling of No. 25 Kentucky on Saturday, celebrating Senior Day and UF's historic victory with a postgame net-cutting ceremony.

Donovan, who said the Gators will focus on themselves this week and not a what-if opponent, is hopeful his players can put their triumphs in the past.

"The biggest area for us is to get emotionally, mentally and psychologically past what happened on Saturday," he explained. "We’ve got to get past that. That starts this afternoon, getting past that and moving on and focusing on the next thing in front of us.” 

BILLY SAY WHAT?

Unlike John Calipari or Roy Williams, Florida's coach has normally remained diplomatic when discussing conference tournaments.

Not Monday.

While Donovan acknowledged he "likes playing the conference tournament" and "thinks it gets you ready for postseason play," he quickly addressed his major issue with the event's annual setup.

"The one thing the NCAA has to look at is any conference that's playing their conference tournament and it goes into Sunday, those teams, in my opinion, should not play in the NCAA tournament until Friday," Donovan said bluntly.

"You have to go up there and you have to have a mandatory opening practice on a Wednesday if you're playing Thursday, that's not right for those kind of teams, where you've got a team that all of sudden does a heck of a job, they get all the way to Sunday, they win a championship, maybe they miss Selection Sunday, they've got to travel back, they get back on campus on Sunday, they've got to try to recuperate after playing three straight games and they're on a plane Tuesday night going into a place, Wednesday practice, Thursday playing … that's a lot in my opinion. …  And I think our league should look at it, too. Are we better off backing up our conference tournament and ending it on Saturday? Just end it on Saturday and give everybody Sunday off and figure out who's in the tournament and who's not and move from there."

Florida, a lock for a No. 1 seed, could face Donovan's exact scenario should the Gators reach Sunday's SEC Championship (3:15 p.m.).

UF is nearly assured of opening the NCAA Tournament in Orlando, with the games slated for Thursday and Saturday. According to stat guru Ken Pomeroy, Florida is nearly a coin-flip (49.2 percent) to win the tournament.

FRAZIER II HONORED

@SEC_Craig(Courtesy @SEC_Craig)

Florida's 6-foot-4 sophomore guard drained a conference-record 11 3-pointers against South Carolina last Tuesday, finishing with 37 points. Frazier II, averaging 12.9 points per game this season, added nine points on three treys in Florida's beatdown of Kentucky on Saturday afternoon.

ICYMI

Screen shot 2014-03-10 at 1.11.51 PM

Casey Prather is Florida's leading scorer, averaging 14.6 points per game and shooting 62.5 percent from the field.

ICYMI II

My piece recapping Saturday’s historic win and a special senior class.

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Comments

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This is by far Donovan's best coaching ever. The 06-07 years were great, but he had 3 lottery picks on that team. He took a bunch of projects and turned them into statistically the best team in the history of Gator basketball. I just hope he can finish it with all the hardware.

When do they play Georgia southern?

Candy Cane fans are jealous little b**ches!!

Posted by: GatorAlum

Agree with you. There is not one lottery pick on this team this year and yet it is the best team in UF history so far. We have a great chance to go all the way and that is all you can ask for at this time.
Go Gators!

Congrats to Turds basketball.....undefeated in conference play is indeed impressive!!

To bad the football team has never gone undefeated....you know...the sport that REALLY counts....oh well.

How many times has cane football gone undefeated in the ACC? That is an equivalent question.
ACC basketball is arguably the best in the nation, SEC basketball is top heavy with UF and UK.
SEC football is no question the best in the nation while ACC football is weak and extremely top heavy with only FSU.
The Gators have won the SERC in both basketball and football several times.
Canes have never won ACC football and had a one and done basketball win last season.
Big difference, Gators win big.

meant to say the Gators have won the SEC

Saying basketball isn't a real sport just shows the knowledge of the typical uneducated cane fan.

Jls the comment was "To bad the football team has never gone undefeated" key word is never as in history as in never ever happened. Miami on the other hand has completed this several times and uf once again bows to the big in state brother THE U!

It's easy to go undefeated when you played nobody in the Big Least back in the day. It is easy to go undefeated in the ACC of today. Why can't you?
Going undefeated is nice but not necessary to win championships when you play in the SEC, it's all about SOS.

Silly cane fans don't realize the Big East was one step above division II. That'd be like Boise State bragging about being undefeated.

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