Gator News and World Report (3/6/2006)

The Gator News World Report for Monday, March 6, 2006. Kentucky fried; Bats remain silent in another UF loss; Bench comes through for UF; Softball squad picks up two more wins; Hush Falls On Rupp As Gators Take Win; Gators chew up Wildcats 79-64; Gators trample tradition, handle Kentucky; Traditional powers won't dance; Leaving with a clang; Might as well accept Cats for who they are; Loss dampens seniors' party; Gators deliver message in rout and more...

Florida Gator Basketball

Kentucky fried
It was a surreal scene. Seconds winding down. Walk-ons in the game. Cavernous Rupp Arena strangely silent.

Bench comes through for UF
To pull off its first win at Rupp Arena since 1998, Florida needed more than contributions from its starters.

FLORIDA 79, KENTUCKY 64: Gators turn 'Cats inside out
Corey Brewer had the ball in his hands and a clear path to the basket. One step, and then he could have dunked it, providing an emphatic ending to Florida's 79-64 victory over Kentucky on Sunday afternoon.

Hush Falls On Rupp As Gators Take Win
The silence blasted Chris Richard like a calm wind the second the University of Florida center stepped inside the building Sunday.

Gators chew up Wildcats 79-64
The play came straight out of a big man's dream. Al Horford tipped stole pass, spied the open court, took three dribbles, and dunked, with a Kentucky guard whistled for slapping his arm along the way.

Gators trample tradition, handle Kentucky
Florida, plagued by the aura of Rupp Arena for so long, finally overcame and thrashed Kentucky to get a first-round bye in the SEC tournament.

Traditional powers won't dance
A handshake or high-five wasn't enough for Tubby Smith. The Kentucky coach had lived on the NCAA Tournament bubble longer than usual, so he wanted an unusual celebration.

Leaving with a clang
A year ago teary-eyed Chuck Hayes and his fellow University of Kentucky seniors swayed to the sound of "My Old Kentucky Home" after a resounding win in their last basketball game at Rupp Arena.

Might as well accept Cats for who they are
One play told it all, really. Leading 63-50, the University of Florida ran a set designed for Corey Brewer to throw a lob to Joakim Noah. There was no alley-oop available; the University of Kentucky defended it well. So Brewer threw the ball off the backboard, and Noah grabbed it and dropped in a layup. Brewer backpedaled with his hands in the air, looking like a football referee signaling a touchdown.

Loss dampens seniors' party
As the pep band began its postgame serenade of "My Old Kentucky Home," Kentucky players trudged off the court and stared at the floor.

OH NOAH, NOT AGAIN
Nearly three minutes after the referees called power forward Al Horford for hooking his way past Randolph Morris, Florida Coach Billy Donovan's irritation persisted. So when Kentucky called timeout with 9:35 left in yesterday's game, Donovan chewed again on referee Mike Stuart's ear.

Gator had 'something' for Cats
Kentucky had the talk. Joan and Melissa Rivers on a caffeine binge couldn't have produced talk like Kentucky. Rekalin Sims essentially used the Friday before the Florida Gators rolled into town to call out Joakim Noah.

Regular season mercifully over
Rarely have we looked so forward to the basketball post-season. Only this time, we do so in hopes of erasing the regular season. Truth be told, Florida's 79-64 smashing of Kentucky yesterday was hardly a Senior Day shock to the system, as it was emblematic of a systemic problem that has dogged Tubby Smith's Cats from Oct. 15 right on through March 5.

Gators deliver message in rout
The play came straight out of a big man's dream. Al Horford tipped and stole a pass, spied the open court, took three dribbles and dunked, with a Kentucky guard whistled for slapping his arm.

Florida Gator Baseball

Bats remain silent in another UF loss
Pat McMahon sat in an empty McKethan Stadium press box late Sunday afternoon sipping bottled water and crunching numbers on his notepad.

Florida Gator Softball

Softball squad picks up two more wins
Florida defeated Southern Mississippi 3-1 and Central Michigan 8-0 Sunday on the final day of the Cox Communications Invitational.

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