Rushed Reactions: #1 Florida 56, Tennessee 49Posted by CD Bradley on March 15th, 2014
C.D. Bradley will be reporting from the SEC Tournament semifinals and finals this weekend.
Three key takeaways.
- Pat Adams made a name for himself, and not in a good way. The official’s name was trending on Twitter after calling a ticky-tack fourth foul on Jeronne Maymon (Maymon was at the top of the key, and Adams on the baseline). Adams then eyeballed Maymon as he made his way to the scorer’s table and hit him with a technical foul, his fifth, with 4:39 to go in the game. Florida hit all four free throws to take a four-point lead, one which they never relinquished.
- Tennessee took a seven-point lead into halftime largely because they were able to get to the basket with relative ease in the first 20 minutes. The Vols, whose 49.2 percent shooting on two-point field goals this year ranks #145 nationally, made 13 of 20 inside the arc in the first half for 65 percent. That all stopped after halftime; Tennessee scored only 14 points in the second half, hitting only 4-of-13 two-point tries, and none in the last 12 minutes. Florida has now won 20 straight SEC games this year, largely thanks to a defense that ranks #8 in adjusted efficiency nationally.
- Florida continues its glide path toward a one seed, and maybe the overall top seed, but Tennessee has at least a bit to be worried about. They thrashed three straight teams to end the season, but none of those squads are going dancing. They beat down Virginia by 35 in December, split with Xavier, and not much else. They also lost three games to teams outside the RPI top 100. They should be in, but it’s gonna be a bit nervous in Knoxville.
Star of the Game. Patric Young didn’t have his best game, but he nearly matched Maymon on the boards (nine to eight) and led the Gators with 16 points, including six big ones in the last five minutes.
- “Wasn’t really told anything Maymon. They called a technical foul. I watched his body language. He didn’t use any curse words, swear, whatever you want to call it. He didn’t do any of that. Maybe his tone or maybe his approach and his body language caused him to get the technical. But I watched his lips closely, so there wasn’t anything derogatory that was said.” Cuonzo Martin
- “So there was some calls I didn’t like, but that’s part of it. I’m just a player and I let the referees do their job.” – Jarnell Stokes
- “I felt as though, as a team, we just all started connecting finally, getting to where we feel as though we need to be for a whole 40 minutes. We were really locked in on the defensive side. I could just feel like an inner sense that they were going to have a difficult time scoring.” – Patric Young
- “I was just trying to rip the ball through and get into the middle of the floor and my elbow nicked his chin, I think, a little bit. But he did a good job of selling it.” – Scottie Wilbekin, on his late offensive foul.
Sights and Sounds. Tennessee has a male cheerleader – I cannot determine which one from the roster on their website – who has an Afro which can only be described as spectacular. It was truly awe inspiring. Kudos, sir.
What’s Next. Florida advances to the SEC title game confident in being named a #1 seed no matter what happens in the Georgia Dome on Sunday. Tennessee nervously waits for the brackets to be unveiled to see if its name is called, but most projections expect that the Vols will be there.