TV Schedule: Saturday, Dec. 12, 5:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Stadium: Breslin Center
If the Florida Gators plan on joining the national spotlight in the 2015-16 college basketball season, they can start by doing one simple thing (or one very, very difficult thing, depending on how you look at it), and said simple thing is knocking off the Michigan State Spartans.
That’s right, it would only take the Gators one game to get a ton of buzz. The only problem is the fact that the Spartans are arguably the best team in the country. They have that No. 1 ranking and perfect record thing going for them, after all. Meanwhile, the Gators are 6-2, they have no signature wins and they definitely don’t rock a ranking.
Michigan State had some question marks entering the new season, but a giant win against the Kansas Jayhawks, who are still one of the best teams in the sport, put them on the map in a big way. Of course, Denzel Valentine taking the next step toward superstardom doesn’t hurt.
Florida entered the year with little buzz, and a lot of that had to deal with Billy Donovan taking his talents to the next level.
Florida’s losses came against the Purdue Boilermakers and Miami Hurricanes. If anything, those losses don’t really do any damage to the resume since both squads should find themselves playing in the 2016 NCAA tournament. The opportunities to capture an impressive non-conference victory are running out, though, and that is where the problem comes in.
Although players like Dorian Finney-Smith might make this clash interesting from time to time, Michigan State will likely handle the Gators.
PREDICTION: Gators 65, Spartans 74