Poor free-throw shooting nearly cost the Florida Gators a perfect 21-0 season in SEC play, but strong three-point shooting built enough of a lead it didn't matter.
Florida held off a big Kentucky rally for a 61-60 win Sunday in the SEC tournament finals. After two missed free throws in the final 30 seconds Kentucky was set up for a game-winning shot but never got one off as James Young fell trying to drive to the basket.
It was Florida's first conference tourney crown in seven years.
The Gators, who head into the NCAA tournament with a 32-2 record, were ahead by 16 in the second half but Kentucky went on a 14-0 run to pull within 54-53 with six minutes still remaining. Michael Frazier, who hadn't scored since having 11 of Florida's first 12 points, drilled a 3 and Patric Young dunked on the following fast break.
Young finished tied with Frazier for a team-high 14 points while Scottie Wilbekin and Casey Prather both scored 11.
Florida led 40-30 at the break, going 6-for-12 on three pointers while just 6-of-12 at the line. Kentucky had no 3's in the first half but had three during the big comeback.
The Gators ended up just 7-for-17 at the free throw line.
Sunday's game aired on 1250 WHNZ.
More details to come....