Everyone in the SEC is chasing down the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide in the conference standings as the Florida Gators travel to Tuscaloosa on Wednesday bidding for an upset.
Florida Gators and Alabama Crimson Tide (-10, 148)
The Gators will lean on big man Colin Castleton to erase shots at the rim, as his 3.1 blocks per game rank fourth among qualifying Division I players. He’s also averaging 16.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game over his last 10.
Overall, Florida is fourth in the country in percentage of opponents’ shots blocked and seventh in opponent 2-point shooting percentage. On the whole, the defense is 18th among Division I teams in points allowed on a per-possession basis.
While Castleton is a big piece of the Florida defense, the guards have done a good job of defending the perimeter, allowing opponents to make just 29.7% of their 3-point shots in road games — a road 3-point shooting percentage that ranks 23rd in the country.
Alabama is second in the country in opponent 3-point shooting percentage, with foes making just 26.1% of their 3-pointers, but this affects Florida far less because they attempt far fewer 3-point shots than Alabama.
The Crimson Tide take 47.6% of their field goal attempts from 3-point range, the 11th-highest 3-point rate in America. Florida’s 3-point rate is 211th, with 36.7% of their shots coming from beyond the arc.
The Gators have allowed 68 points or fewer in 15 of their last 18 games while having an above-average tempo, ranking 124th nationally in possessions per game, which makes the Gators equipped to be handle an Alabama team that leads the country in total possessions per game.
The uptempo style leads to Alabama creating self-inflicted wounds, as they are 223rd in the country in turnovers per possession on offense. Ranking 29th nationally in this category, the Gators have the discipline and defensive fortitude needed to push the Crimson Tide to the brink.
The Play: Florida +10
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