KNOXVILLE, TN - JANUARY 7: Erving Walker #11 of the Florida Gators loses the ball in the lane while being defended by Wes Washpun #4 and Jordan McRae #52 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena on January 7, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee defeated Florida 67-56. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The No. 8 Florida Gators will try to avenge their first SEC loss at home Saturday against the 12-12 Tennessee Volunteers.
The high-octane offense of the No. 8 Florida Gators will collide with the struggling Tennessee Volunteers Saturday in a rematch of Florida's first SEC loss from all the way back on Jan. 7. The two teams opened conference play and the Volunteers took home the victory 67-56, just three games after the Gators had fallen to Rutgers in overtime (guard Mike Rosario's old team, no less), and it seemed like Florida was on the way down.
Since then, the Gators have lost just one game — their last, four days ago, to No. 1 Kentucky — vaulting them to a Top 10 ranking and, more importantly, a 7-2 record in the SEC. Since that loss to Tennessee, the bench has ramped up its production, helping to overcome inconsistent scoring from the Gators' three best players, Kenny Boynton, Bradley Beal and Patric Young.
The Volunteers have been scrambling for consistency all season under first-year coach Cuonzo Martin. WIthout any of the talented players Tennessee has gotten used to in the past five years, the Vols have managed to beat Florida and UConn and took the then-No. 8 Memphis Tigers to double overtime. They have also had games where nothing seemed to go right, leading to puzzling losses to Georgia, College of Charleston and Austin Peay, among others. Their performance will depend upon which Tennessee shows up.
Location: Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Fla.
Date & Time: Saturday, Feb. 11, 4 p.m.