The 2013 SEC men’s hoops tournament title match-up is set, and it will feature the regular season champion, Florida, against the semi-Cinderella team from Ole Miss.
(13) Florida 61, Alabama 51
The Tide were held scoreless for the first three minutes of the game, but they kept things close for the entire first half. Bama even took the lead with less than a minute left in the period, and they were up 28-25 heading into the locker rooms.
Unfortunately for the Crimson Tide, the Gators’ Kenny Boynton turned something on in the second half and scored 10 straight points in almost three minutes, while Alabama scored zero during the same time span. Even after Boynton’s run was done, the Tide went more than two minutes more without scoring. Alabama pulled to within two, but then they watched as Florida widened the gap and secured the victory.
Nick Jacobs had 11 points and four rebounds to lead the Tide. Patric Young led the Gators with 13 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and a block. Bama outshot UF 45.2 percent to 44.2 percent, but the Gators outrebounded the Crimson Tide 28-25.
Alabama drops to 21-12 overall and was 12-6 in regular season SEC play. Florida is now 26-6 overall and went 14-4 in conference play.
Ole Miss 64, Vanderbilt 52
The Rebels found a way to keep their season – and their Big Dance hopes – alive this afternoon against the Commodores. Vandy led for the entire first half, the final five seconds when Ole Miss tied things up at 26-26. Though the Rebs trailed by as many as eight points in the first 20 minutes, they were never really out of the game.
The two teams were close for the first 10 minutes of the second half, but then Ole Miss began to pull away. They were up by double digits with seven minutes remaining in the game, and by the time there were only three minutes left, the Rebels were up by 18, their largest lead of the day. The Commodores had lengthy stretches, including one of about four minutes, where they didn’t make a single basket, which obviously didn’t help them get back in the game.
Kedron Johnson had 12 points, two rebounds, three assists, and a steal to lead Vandy. Reginald Buckner led Ole Miss with 15 points, nine rebounds, an assist, two steals, and a block. The Rebs outshot the ‘Dores 44 percent to 33.9 percent and outrebounded them 37-35.
Vanderbilt falls to 16-17 overall and was 8-10 in regular season SEC play. Ole Miss is now 25-8 overall and went 12-6 in conference play.
The Gators and Rebels will face off in the title game on Sunday at 1 ET. The contest will be televised on ABC.