- Jeff Barlis, College Football
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Gators have won seven in a row and are looking at a tough challenge to cap a run of three games in six days: No. 1 Kentucky at Rupp Arena in Lexington (Tuesday at 7 p.m., ET, on ESPN or ESPN3). Here are your UF-related links from ESPN.
The Gators move up to No. 7 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and No. 8 in The Associated Press poll.
Florida moves up two spots this week. Power Rankings says: "This is Kentucky's greatest challenge in the SEC. The Gators love the 3-ball (41 percent). But to knock off the Wildcats, whom they'll play twice over the last month of the SEC slate, they'll need a healthy, aggressive Patric Young (11.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg)."
ESPN Insider Jay Bilas updates the Bilas Index, a ranking of the top 68 college basketball teams in the country. This week, the Kentucky Wildcats retain the No. 1 overall ranking, while the Gators move up to No. 8.
Grantland writer Mark Titus bases his rankings on if the NCAA Tournament started today. This is how he thinks the teams would fare. He says: "Overall résumés don't really matter to me because I'm not the NCAA tournament selection committee."
After the Gators dispatched the Commodores, Andy Katz has moved UF up to No. 2 in the league, writing: "The Gators are making 3s in bunches, beating Vanderbilt to set up a top-10 showdown at Kentucky on Tuesday. The Gators can shoot the 3-pointer as effectively any team in the country. Now they’ve got to board and defend."
Florida is No. 10, baby!
NEWS FLASH: Joe Lunardi has moved Florida up to a No. 3 seed. We'll see how long it lasts. Joe says Tuesday's Florida-Kentucky showdown is a chance for the Cats to make a statement for the No. 1 overall seed (Insider).
Once again, Florida leads Katz's list of teams that impressed. He writes: "The Gators won two home games against South Carolina and Vanderbilt to set up a showdown for first place with Kentucky on Tuesday night. The latter established UF as the clear top challenger to UK in the SEC. Florida is shooting the ball as well as it has all season, getting great spacing and balance on the floor." Also, Lexington, Ky., is listed as the place to be this Tuesday, as Florida takes on Kentucky. The word is that Florida may be the only team that can derail the runaway train that is the No. 1 Wildcats.
Check out Eamon Brennan's take on Florida's home win against identical twin SEC foe Vanderbilt.
After reclassifying from 2013 to 2012, Nerlens Noel went from being the No. 2-ranked junior to the No. 1-ranked senior in the ESPNU 100 (Insider). Now Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse, among others, are scrambling to get Noel on campus next season. He tells us what’s on his mind in the first installment of his player blog.
2dAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf
8dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough