Gators Enjoy Kick-Butt Weekend

It's hard to imagine the weekend turning out much better for Jeremy Foley and the Gator Athletic program. Florida turned in tremendous performances across the board in about as varied a collection of sports as you could hope for.

It started Thursday with the Women's Basketball team seeming to clinch an NIT berth and continued (I assume – they are on the course as I write this with a 17-stroke lead) with the Women's Golf team finishing off the field at its own tournament on Monday. Here's a rundown.

Men's Basketball 24-6, 13-3 --- The Gators went to one of the toughest places to play in the SEC, Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville to face Vanderbilt. Florida was aware that Alabama had already beaten Georgia, meaning the Gators had to win in order to have the SEC Championship to themselves. No problem. All five starters scored in double figures and Patric Young and Scottie Wilbekin provided quality minutes off the bench in an 86-76 win over the Commodores. It's just the third outright SEC Title in school history. Florida also probably wrapped up a No. 3 seed and trip to Tampa for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Now we wait to see if Billy Donovan picks up his first SEC Coach of the Year award and if Chandler Parsons is the first Gator to be chosen SEC Player of the Year.

Baseball 10-1 --- Kevin O'Sullivan's top ranked team swept the Miami Hurricanes in a series at McKethan Stadium. Florida's wins were by scores of 8-3, 1-0 and 5-3 and gives Florida 9 wins in the last 10 meetings with the boys from Coral Gables. It also extends Florida's school record home winning streak to 24 games. The Gators have two midweek games including a Wednesday match up in Tampa against USF. No doubt they would like this trip to the Tampa area to turn out better than the last one.

Women's Basketball 18-14 --- Amanda Butler's team put itself in good position for post-season play with a three-game winning streak to end the regular season, but could not afford a "bad" loss in the SEC Tournament. Florida jumped out to a big lead, lost it and then pulled away for a 68-59 win over Arkansas that assures the Gators a shot to play in the NIT. It's not where they want to be, but it could be worse. Butler is finishing up her fourth season at UF and may need to reach the big dance next year. That's very realistic with every key player returning.

Softball 19-0 --- No, that's not a typo, Tim Walton's team has opened up the season with 19 straight wins for the second time in four years. Florida dominated its tournament in Gainesville, winning five games by a combined score of 52-6. On the season Walton's juggernaut has outscored its opponents 162-20. Florida has hit 36 homeruns and four different Gators have scored more runs than Florida's opens so far this season. The Gators open up SEC play Wednesday with a doubleheader at LSU.

Women's Tennis 13-1, 2-0 --- Florida begins SEC play ranked No. 1 in the nation and played like it in road wins over LSU (6-0) and Arkansas (7-0). Roland Thornqvist's team has the look of a team that could make it to the NCAA finals as it did a year ago losing to Stanford in the final match.

Men's Tennis 9-3, 2-0 --- While the Women opened up SEC play on the road, Andy Jackson's Men's squad was home against the same two opponents and beat them both handily. The Gators played an extremely challenging pre-SEC schedule and it appears to have gotten the team ready for conference play.

Indoor Track and Field --- Both the Men and Women earned additional spots in the NCAA Indoor Championships during competition as "last chance" meets. Senior Terrell Wilks made it in the 60-meter dash while the Women's 4x400 meter relay ran an excellent race, covering the distance in 3:34.61, which is the 7th fastest in UF history. Florida's Men's team is among the favorites for the NCAA title at the Indoor Championships next weekend at Texas A&M.

So how was your weekend?


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