No. 10 Florida beats No. 17 Missouri, proves they are true contender
Did we all forget about No. 10 Florida?
That’s apparently what happens when you give away a game at Arizona -- the No. 7 team in the country -- and lose a nailbiter in a de-facto road game against Kansas State -- the No. 16 team in the country -- in Kansas City.
And it’s also the only way to explain the shock that was expressed on twitter throughout the Gators’ 83-52 beatdown of No. 17 Missouri on Saturday afternoon.
Florida spent the first month of the season absolutely steam-rolling anyone that dared get in their way. They beat Wisconsin by 18 points. They beat Marquette by 33. They went into Tallahassee and beat Florida State by 25 points in a game they led 50-19 at one point.
And now they can add a 31 point win over the Tigers to that resume.
There really isn’t much else to say. Florida has to be in the conversation with teams like Indiana, Michigan, Louisville and Duke as the best team in the country. They defend, they rebound the ball and, on the nights that Scottie Wilbekin, Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario are shooting well and sharing the ball, they can be downright scary offensively with their balance.
Look at today. Six Gators scored between nine and 15 points, and that was without Casey Prather in the lineup as he battles an ankle injury.
The one question mark here is Missouri: the Tigers are coming off of a 15 point loss at Ole Miss. Without Bowers in the lineup, they are clearly not the same team. But just how much of a difference does their leading scorer make? Because he certainly doesn’t make them 31 points better.
Are the Tigers simply a bad road team?
It’s something to keep an eye on when Bowers eventually does get back on the court. Hopefully, when these two teams get back together on February 19th in Columbia, both teams will be at full strength.
The win was Billy Donovan’s 400th as head coach, and he got a good-old-fashioned Gatorade shower in the locker room after the game.