The No. 3 Florida Gators have come a long way since the beginning of the season where Billy Donovan said that they were light years away from making it to the 2014 NCAA Tournament or even being a ranked team. They showed their improvement in an impressive win over the Missouri Tigers.
Missouri played close for most of the game, but Florida pulled away due to their superior defense. Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson only had 29 points combined and Scottie Wilbekin had one as the Gators defeated the Tigers 68-58.
With the win over Missouri, Florida proved that they are hands down the best team in the SEC, although I don’t think they will finish undefeated. I still think the Gators will lose to the Tennessee Volunteers when they travel to Knoxville. Cuonzo Martin is 14-3 in February as head coach of the Vols and the Gators’ victory over Tennessee three games ago was the first that Florida has ever had against Martin and the Volunteers. However, one or two losses in a difficult conference like the SEC will not hinder them in the long run.
Expect big things from the Gators moving forward. The SEC doesn’t get any credit for being an extremely competitive conference, but remaining undefeated this far into the season against the tough opposition that they’ve faced along with the adversity with suspensions, ineligibility and overtime wins will only help them down the stretch. Florida is fully capable of running the table in March and winning the National Championship; don’t count the Gators out just because they aren’t in a conference like the Big 10 or Big 12.