SEC Basketball Predictions: Florida hosts Florida State in primetime

In Features by Blake Lovell

The SEC didn’t have its best day on the hardwood on Sunday, with No. 24 Alabama and Vanderbilt both losing at home.

However, Tennessee scored a solid road win at Georgia Tech, and Auburn and Mississippi State build more momentum with home victories.

There’s only one game on tonight’s slate, which features a rivalry game that always produces plenty of entertaining action.

As always, my predictions are based on team analysis and who I think will. Score projections are for my own amusement.

Let’s get to today’s pick.

Season Predictions Record (straight up): 84-16

Florida State at No. 6 Florida – 9 PM EST, ESPN 2

I’ve been asked this question several times over the past week: Who is the best team in the SEC right now?

While I could make a solid argument for Texas A&M, I still tend to lean towards Florida being at the top at this stage of the season.

The Gators have been wildly impressive in their ability to score the ball, and having three elite scorers in KeVaughn Allen, Egor Koulechov, and Jalen Hudson gives this team an incredible offensive nucleus.

Meanwhile, Chris Chiozza is as good as ever, and he continues to be the driving force for everything that happens on both ends of the floor. His on-ball defense still gives opponents fits, and he’s creating lots of opportunities for the aforementioned big three scorers.

As for the Seminoles, they’ve started 6-0, but have yet to face a team close to the caliber of Florida.

Leonard Hamilton does have good size on this particular squad, and Florida State has started well on both sides of the court in shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and only allowing opponents to shoot 37.5 percent.

But again, none of the Seminoles’ previous opponents have packed the type of offensive punch that the Gators do.

Mike White still has the No. 1 scoring team in the country (99.5 points per game), and Florida values the ball as well as anyone (fifth nationally with only nine turnovers per game).

The Gators have already played tough competition and know what it takes to win those type of games, and with this being a big rivalry, they’ll be ready for the challenge.

Florida pulls away in the second half to score the victory.

Prediction: Florida 84, Florida State 72

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Blake Lovell is the founder of Southeast Hoops. He hosts the Marching to Madness podcast, which features interviews with coaches around the country. He also hosts a weekly college basketball show on WNSR 560AM/95.9 FM in Nashville. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Athlon Sports, Rivals, FanRag Sports, and many more.