Amid the discussion surrounding Wichita State and their bid for an undefeated regular season, the #1-ranked Florida Gators faced off with the LSU Tigers on Saturday afternoon. 40 minutes of clock time later, Billy Donovan’s team reminded everyone of who the best team in college basketball is at this moment.
Florida exploded for 41 first-half points, and from that point forward, they were in cruise control in route to a 79-61 victory over LSU. The Gators were highly efficient offensively throughout the day, shooting 56% from the floor and committing a decent total of only 12 turnovers. However, the biggest X-factor for Florida was their outside shooting, as the perimeter contributors for the Gators were lights-out in shooting 13-for-23 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Defensively, the top-ranked Gators weren’t so bad, either. LSU was overmatched from the opening tip, and they finished the game with 15 turnovers and some ghastly shooting numbers, including just 38.3% from the floor. Johnny O’Bryant (18 points, 7 rebounds) and Jordan Mickey (14 points, 10 rebounds) had nice games for the Tigers, but frankly, they never stood a chance.
The most impressive thing about the #1 team in the country is that they’ve done this without the benefit of a legitimate “number one” option. That continued on Saturday with Florida placing 4 players in double-figures, and it was fitting that a bench player (Dorian Finney-Smith) led the team in scoring with 16 points on just 10 field goal attempts. The Gators haven’t lost a game this season while at full strength (and they are 27-2 overall with this win), and with Kasey Hill back in this one, that string continues as they attempt to separate themselves from the other contenders for #1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.