College Basketball

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(13) Kansas (6-2) at (19) Florida (6-2)



Tuesday, December 10, 7 p.m. (ET)

The Sports Network

By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: O'Connell Center (11,548) -- Gainesville, Florida. Television: ESPN. Home Record: KU 3-0, UF 5-0. Away Record: KU 0-1, UF 1-2. Neutral Record: KU 3-1, UF 0-0. Conference Record: KU 0-0, UF 0-0. Series Record: Kansas leads, 3-1.

GAME NOTES: Both the 13th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks and the 19th-ranked Florida Gators slid in the latest AP poll, and the squads will attempt to get back on track on Tuesday night when they square off at the O'Connell Center.

Kansas opened up the season in impressive fashion with five straight wins, including a signature victory over Duke on Nov. 12 in a battle of top-five teams. The Jayhawks have run into a bit of trouble of late, however. After suffering a 63-59 setback to Villanova in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis, they returned stateside only to be upset at Colorado on Saturday, 75-72.

Florida has been solid in the early going, running out to a 6-2 record, but while it has beaten all the teams it has been favored against, it has had difficulty stepping up its play against some of the nation's best. The Gators have suffered a pair of losses on the road to nationally-ranked teams, losing to Wisconsin on Nov. 12 (59-53), and most recently at UConn on Dec. 2 (65-64).

Kansas leads the all-time series with Florida, 3-1. These national powers last squared off in the 2006 Las Vegas Invitational, with the top-ranked Jayhawks downing the 10th-ranked Gators, 82-80.

The Jayhawks were trailing Colorado for most of the second half on Saturday, until Perry Ellis tied the game on a layup with just four seconds left, but they fell victim to a last-second desperation heave by Askia Booker as they lost in heartbreaking fashion. The team had an impressive field goal shooting night (.529), although its prowess from 3-point territory was less than ideal (5-of-20). Andrew Wiggins was outstanding in defeat with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Frank Mason added 11 points, while Ellis and Joel Embiid added 10 points apiece. Kansas has established a theme this season of performing well from the field overall (.505), while shooting poorly from beyond the arc (.298), although it still boasts an impressive +10.5 scoring margin. Wiggins has shined in his freshman campaign with 15.3 points per game on 51.2 percent shooting, while Ellis (14.5 ppg, .600) is hot on his heels. Embiid, another first-year player, has been strong off the bench with 9.3 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.

The Gators were also on the wrong end of a thrilling finish in their latest game. After Michael Frazier put the team up by one point in the final minute, UConn's Shabazz Napier connected on an off-balanced jumper just before the buzzer sounded. Florida shot well in the hotly-contested battle, making 49 percent of its field goal tries, but it was just 3-of-9 from 3-point range and was plagued by 16 turnovers. Casey Prather committed five of those miscues himself, but he helped make up for it by tallying 19 points and seven rebounds. Patric Young added 17 points and seven boards, while Scottie Wilbekin pitched in with 15 points. On the season, UF nets 72.4 points per game on 46.5 percent from the field, which is more than enough to support its strong scoring defense (60.9 ppg). Prather (19.1 ppg) has made greater than 63 percent of his field goal attempts, while Frazier (13.5 ppg) has been outstanding from beyond the arc (23-of-44). Talented freshman Kasey Hill (10.3 ppg) has missed the last four games with an injury, but luckily the return of Wilbekin (11.3 ppg) and Dorian Finney-Smith (10.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg), who both missed games earlier in the season, has given the team a boost.

Kansas has all the talent in the world, but it has shown that its young nucleus still needs time to come together before it's considered a serious national-championship contender. Heading into hostile territory, the Jayhawks will likely struggle against what should be another stifling defensive effort by the Gators.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida 68, Kansas 67

12/10 10:30:58 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR
 
Final
ATL 3
MIA 1
Final
CHC 5
ARI 7
Final
COL 10
SFG 12
Final
OAK 0
TEX 3
Final
SEA 5
HOU 3
Final
PIT 2
CIN 5
Final
CLE 5
KAN 3
Final
WAS 5
ANA 4
Final
TOR 8
BAL 10
Final
DET 4
CWS 6
Final
TAM 4
MIN 6
Final
BOS 5
NYY 1
Final
NYM 3
STL 2
Final
MIL 5
SDP 2
Final
LOS 5
PHI 2
12:05pm Today
CLE
KAN
 
12:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
STL
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
SDP
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
MIA 101
CHA 97
Final
SAN 92
DAL 113
Final
HOU 105
POR 112
7:00pm Tonight
ATL
IND
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAC
Final
CLB 4
PIT 3
Final
DAL 4
ANA 2
Final
CHI 4
STL 3
8:00pm Tonight
DET
BOS
9:30pm Tonight
MIN
COL
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
SJS
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
7:05pm Tonight
CHR
DUR