Gators Host Preseason Favorite Kansas Tuesday Night at the O’Dome

By on December 10, 2013. Posted in , , , . Tagged as , , .

After dropping its two marquee road contests of the year, at Wisconsin and at Connecticut, by a combined seven points, No. 12/15 ranked Florida looks for a little home cooking when the Gators host preseason favorite Kansas on Tuesday night in the inaugural Big 12/SEC Challenge.  Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. at the O’Connell Center (a.k.a. the O’Dome) with the game airing nationally on ESPN.  The Charm City Gators will be hosting a viewing part at The Greene Turtle at McHenry Row to cheer on the Orange and Blue against the Jayhawks.  Free swag will be available to add to your favorite gameday attire.

Last time out, Florida (6-2) dropped a heartbreaker at UConn as Shabazz Napier collected his own rebound and hit a runner with no time remaining to give the Huskies a 65-64 win in Storrs, Conn.  The Gators are a perfect 5-0 at home this season in front of the Rowdy Reptiles, though, extending its current home winning streak to 20 games, the second-longest streak in school history.

Sophomore guard Michael Frazier II leads the SEC in 3-point field goal percentage, connecting on 23 of his 44 attempts this season.  Senior Scottie Wilbekin has guided the Gators since returning to the lineup against Jacksonville on Nov. 25 and is averaging 11.3 points per game to go along with 5.7 assists per game.  Senior Casey Prather has been a breakout player so far, cashing in on increased playing time by scoring 19.1 points per game and grabbing 5.9 rebounds per contest.

No. 6/7 Kansas (6-2) comes to Gainesville for just the second time in its storied program history, earning a 69-54 win in its last trip in 1996.  The Jayhawks defeated Duke earlier this season, 94-83, but have lost two of their last three games, included a three-point setback, 75-72, at Colorado on Saturday.  Highly touted freshman Andrew Wiggins leads the KU offense with a 15.3 points per game average while shooting 51% from the field.  Sophomore Perry Ellis provides a crucial one-two punch and is averaging 14.5 points per contest.

The two programs have met four times previously with KU owning a 3-1 advantage in the series.  The first-ever meeting came at historic Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan. with the home-standing Jayhawks claiming a 69-63 victory.  The teams last met during Florida’s run of back-to-back national titles in ‘06-’07, but once again Kansas came out on top, outlasting the Gators, 82-80, in overtime in the Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 25, 2006.