Gator News and World Report (2/15/2007)

The Gator News and World Report for Thursday, February 15, 2007. The bar is set high in SEC, at UF; Gators rally from 18 down for 17th straight win; Conference tournaments hold entry key; Speights makes most of chance against Tide; NCAA repeals '06 rules changes; Gators Pull Off Gigantic Rally; Gators' win streak survives scare; Gators get away and more...

Florida Gator Basketball

Gators rally from 18 down for 17th straight win
Florida point guard Taurean Green didn't stop shooting. Not after an 0-for-6 first half netted zero points. Not with Florida down 18 points early and 11 points at halftime.

Conference tournaments hold entry key
No. 1 Florida appears a safe bet to make its ninth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Bids for the rest of the SEC contenders will be tougher to come by. Gary Walters, Chairman of the NCAA Division I men's basketball committee, noted increased parity throughout college basketball will make the task of sorting through major conference teams, mid-majors and automatic bids more difficult.

Speights makes most of chance against Tide
After Speights failed to see action during Florida's win over Kentucky last Saturday night at Rupp Arena, Donovan confronted Speights at Monday's practice.

No. 1 Florida 76, No. 25 Alabama 67
No. 1 Florida was only as good as its point guard against Alabama. Taurean Green scored 20 points in the second half and the Gators overcame an 18-point deficit to beat the 25th-ranked Crimson Tide 76-67 on Wednesday night and extend the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games.

Gators Pull Off Gigantic Rally
Even after a brick he shot helped the University of Alabama extend its lead to double digits before his team had scored a point Wednesday, Florida point guard Taurean Green's face gave away nothing. Even after he missed his sixth consecutive shot of the first half, Green wore the same blank expression.

Gators rally to top Tide
His team ahead by one, the game's final 2:10 still on the clock, Florida's Taurean Green dribbled around a right-wing screen and saw some space between him and his Alabama defender. He decided to shoot from behind the 3-point line in seven similar situations Wednesday night -- missing six times, hitting once.

Gators' win streak survives scare
Taurean Green scored 20 points in the second half to help Florida, which had trailed 22-4, win its 17th game in a row.

Down by 18, Gators rally
Taurean Green will always savor his 999th and 1,000th career points as a Florida Gator. Green's milestone digits clinched Florida's 17th straight win, a 76-67 comeback victory against Alabama on Wednesday night at the O'Connell Center.

UF turns Tide by going on the run
Take the names off the jerseys — front and back — and there was no question which team was the defending national champs for a half on Wednesday night.

UF takes tale of two halves
Chalk this one up to experience. Trailing by 18 in the first half, No. 1 Florida was down and being counted out in its game against No. 25 Alabama. But experience told the Gators not to panic, not to unravel.

Gators get away
When it was over, their jerseys drenched in the kind of effort their coach has begged them to give, the Alabama players tried to find balance.

Tide falls short
For 20 minutes on Wednesday night, it looked like No. 25 Alabama had found the magic key to cracking invincible No. 1 Florida on its home floor.

Gators save hide against Tide
Even in defeat, even in falling out of first in the SEC West, even in having a losing record in league play, Alabama may have found itself. But that had to be the consolation prize in losing 76-67 to top-ranked Florida on Wednesday night before a rowdy crowd of 12,598 at O'Connell Center.

Florida Gator Football

NCAA repeals '06 rules changes
Florida coach Urban Meyer has often professed his love for college football. The problem he had last season is there was less to love because new rules concerning the clock led to fewer plays and shorter games.

Clock Rule Changes Repealed
The lost plays have been found. The NCAA's football rules committee decided Wednesday to repeal the controversial clock rule changes it made last year and tweaked rules to keep games shorter while still restoring the 14 plays a game lost last season to the new clock rules in Division I-A. Last year's changes enraged fans and coaches, who complained that actual playing time was sacrificed to make games more television-friendly.

Throw out football time rules
Thanks to NCAA rules changes, Division I-A college football games were quicker last season than games in 2005. The problem was the games, on the average 14 minutes quicker, came at the expense of fewer plays, coaches argued.

Florida Lady Gator Basketball

The bar is set high in SEC, at UF
Clearly, there is one thing we learned on Monday. If you are a coach at the University of Florida and you've just lost a close game to Mississippi State and your team is staring at an open date and you get a call from Jeremy Foley — don't answer it.

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