Once again, ESPN's primetime game lived up to the hype. This time it was No. 3 Florida gutting out a 10-point win at No. 14 Kentucky, 69-59.
The turning point came with 8:14 remaining and Kentucky up 48-47, when Wildcats coach John Calipari was called for a technical foul. Scottie Wilbekin made both free throws and Casey Prather followed that with a layup and the Gators never trailed again. Wilbekin (23 points) and Prather (24 points) led all scorers and combined to shoot 13-of-19 from the field and 19-of-24 from the foul line. They also combined for 13 of Florida's final 16 points.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Gators at Rupp Arena and gave them 17 straight overall. It also made Florida a perfect 12-0 in the SEC, three games ahead of the second-place Wildcats.
These two teams will meet again on March 8 to wrap up the regular season.
No. 5 San Diego State 64, Air Force 56
Coming off a shocking loss to Wyoming earlier in the week, Winston Shepard scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead No. 5 San Diego State over Air Force. Shepard scored seven of those points in the final two minutes to hold off the upset-hungry Falcons.
Xavier Thames had an uncharacteristically tough day from the field. He shot 3-for-10, but still managed 13 points for the second straight game. Those two performances are his lowest scoring totals of the calendar year.
The Aztecs will still likely fall in the rankings on Monday, but they'll have a chance to prove they belong in the national spotlight when they visit New Mexico on Saturday.
No. 22 Ohio State 48, Illinois 39
The Buckeyes bounced back from their loss to Michigan on Tuesday by holding Illinois to just 39 points on 28 percent shooting from the field. The Ohio State defense helped mask what was a tough night on the offensive end. Aaron Craft (14 points) was the only Buckeye in double figures, and they shot just 38 percent overall and 3-of-13 from three.
The win put Ohio State back over .500 in the Big Ten at 7-6 and was the Buckeyes' fourth win in their last five games. With the loss, Illinois is just 14-12 and just 3-10 in the conference. Tracy Abrams had 13 to lead the Illini.