Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Another 1 Bites the Dust

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Another 1 Bites the Dust

Article excerpt

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Florida's No. 1 with a thud.

One day after attaining the first No. 1 men's basketball ranking in school history, the Gators delivered their worst performance of the season, losing 70-55 to sixth-ranked Kentucky last night at Rupp Arena.

"The key is to be humble," UF coach Billy Donovan said before the game, "or this could be the shortest-lived stay at No. 1 in the history of college basketball."

Consider the Gators (18-3, 7-1) humbled after becoming the fourth different team to lose this season after being ranked No. 1.

The Wildcats (17-3, 7-0 SEC) took the SEC East lead and ended Florida's 14-game winning streak with a dominating performance. They hit 7 3-pointers, all in the first half, and cruised to their 11th consecutive victory.

It's the second longest winning streak in coach Tubby Smith's six seasons at Kentucky. The Wildcats haven't won their first seven league games since 1997-98, their last national championship season.

"He was mad because we lost to a team that wasn't better than us," freshman guard Anthony Roberson said. "We made it look like we didn't know what we were doing out there. It was embarrassing."

Roberson, who said Rupp Arena wouldn't be intimidating to the young Gators, finished with a game-high 18 points. He and Matt Walsh (15 points) were the only Florida players in double figures.

UF's highlight was an 8-2 run at the end of the game that made the final margin 15 points. The low point came when the boisterous record crowd of 24,459 chanted "Overrated!" in the final minutes.

"We were kind of surprised. We thought they had more firepower," said Kentucky forward Chuck Hayes, who had nine points and eight rebounds.

Kentucky beat a No. 1-ranked team for the second time at Rupp, where Florida lost for the fifth consecutive time. The Wildcats defeated Indiana, 69-58, in 1979 in the only other game against a top-ranked team at Rupp.

Keith Bogans, a senior who averaged 17 points in six previous games against Florida, led Kentucky with 15 points -- all in the first half. …

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