The Volunteers face a familiar opponent as they open up SEC tournament play in the March 12th Florida vs Tennessee matchup. The last time the Vols took the court was last Sunday in a 65-54 home win over UF as -6 point favorites. The Gators have some reinforcements in the rematch however.
Tre Mann missed the regular season finale in Knoxville with a migraine, but apparently he took an Advil because the ALL-SEC selection had 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in the opening round 69-63 win over Vanderbilt as -8.5 favorites. The rested volunteers are -3 point favorites from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Gators Got the Mann Back
Florida kind of imploded last Sunday vs. Tennessee, the Gators had a 14-point lead in the 1st half even without leading scorer Tre Mann, who stayed back at the team hotel. The Volunteers went on a 21-4 run though to finish with a pretty dominating 11-point win.
The Gators have to have confidence though, knowing they played well in Knoxville even without their top performer. Mann is back, and he led Florida to the 2nd round win over a pesky Vanderbilt team. Vandy is the worst team in the SEC, but they were also playing in their own backyard in Nashville.
Is Florida back though? This was one of the more inconsistent teams down the stretch, posting wins at West Virginia and Kentucky but losing at home to Missouri. The Gators finished the year with two straight losses, but had won 7 of 9 prior.
Tennessee Fresh and Ready
It’s possible the Volunteers come out a bit slow in the March 12th Florida vs Tennessee matchup, as UF already has a game under their belt though on this neutral site court. Just like the Gators have confidence in playing well against UT on Sunday even while shorthanded, it’s nice for the Vols to know they can get down by 14 and still win over 11. That’s control.
The Vols got really equal contributions to beat the Gators with Keon Johnson, John Fulkerson, and Victor Bailey, Jr. all had 14 points. That’s the M.O. for the Volunteers though, as Jaden Springer was their leading scorer on the season with just 12.4 ppg.
This will be the third meeting of the season between these two teams, and there’s a contest back in Gainesville that looms large in this one. Florida was dominant 75-49 over then #6 Tennessee as +9 point home underdogs. The Gators were victorious even without Scottie Lewis and Colin Castleton, who combine to average over 21 ppg.
Free March 12th Florida vs Tennessee Pick
It seems like the Gators match up well with this Tennessee team. They were dominant earlier this season even without two key contributors and got out to a 14-point lead last Sunday even without their leading scorer. Yes there’s some issues in closing out those games, but it will be interesting to see what UF does with a full squad.
Florida 74 – Tennessee 66
Pick: Florida Gators +3