By Ralph Hipp
I can't tell you how excited I was to hear Kansas State gets the Florida Gators Saturday, December 18th at their tournament matchup in Tampa. Florida's my alma mater and the Gators are my beloved team. Mix that in with my enthusiasm about how well Kansas State is doing on the NATIONAL scene and you've got a marquee matchup.
Let me tell you why it's obvious the Wildcats are going to smash the Gators this weekend.
Florida lost to Central Florida last Wednesday night, 57-54, with a game-winning contribution to the UCF effort from Michael Jordan's son.
Marcus Jordan scored 18 points, Keith Clanton hit two free throws in the final seconds and Central Florida pulled the upset over the Gators, which had been ranked #18. That will be under further review after the loss.
The Gators were ranked ninth in The Associated Press preseason poll, lost to the Knights for the first time in 10 meetings and could drop from the rankings after another lackluster effort. Billy Donovan's young Gators have now fallen to 5-2 in the young season.
Florida's leading scorers are Kenny Boynton and Chandler Parsons, and UCF was able to break down Florida's perimeter defense at will. Central Florida won, and Florida lost at the free throw line, too. With the Central Florida Knights finding a way to break the Gators press, Frank's Wildcats will probably have no trouble slicing through the Gators defense, either. Just having this meeting with the former two-time national champions is also an enormous win for the Wildcats basketball program. I hope to be watchin' with you. The good thing is, a Gator or Wildcat win makes me happy! Ralph