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John Calipari

Play it back: rematches to decide last two spots in Final Four

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The most entertaining college basketball game of the regular season came in December. Malik Monk set a record for a Kentucky freshman with 47 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer taken against his coach’s wishes, to lift the Wildcats to a 103-100 win over North Carolina. Are these two ready for an encore? Of course they are – though it’s a valid argument to say this rematch might be better suited for next weekend in the Final Four than Sunday in…

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Eight more spots open Sunday for Sweet 16

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A look at some interesting things as we head into Sunday, when the NCAA Tournament will finalize its Sweet 16: — SOMETIMES … Southern Cal‘s De’Anthony Melton got as philosophical as a basketball player can get. When asked about the Trojans’ second-round game with Baylor, he answered: “It doesn’t matter who’s better because sometimes the better team wins, the better team loses. So it just depends on who can play harder and who can get stops at the end of…

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Gators, Seminoles to face teams seeking revenge for earlier blowouts

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The Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles men’s basketball teams face somewhat similar challenges on Saturday. Both will be on the road to face teams they hammered at home just a few weeks ago. Let’s be honest; the 13th-ranked Gators have the more difficult task, but the way FSU has played on the road over the last month, they will have their hands full as well. Florida heads to Lexington, Ky. for a 2:00 p.m. tipoff to face a Wildcat…

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Gators becoming state’s second basketball powerhouse

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For the past month, talk of college basketball in the Sunshine State has been dominated by the Florida State Seminoles. Over the past two weeks, the Florida Gators have emphatically joined the conversation. Saturday’s convincing 88-66 win over No. 8 Kentucky will lift a few eyebrows just a few weeks before March Madness begins. It is no exaggeration to say the Gators, ranked at No. 24 for now, overwhelmed the Wildcats in ways many thought not possible. Kentucky came into…

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Indiana defeats Kentucky in marquee matchup

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Perhaps the most anticipated of Saturday’s March Madness games was a matchup between two heralded programs. Indiana and Kentucky have 13 national titles between them (Kentucky has eight) and their fans intensely dislike each other. It is a true rivalry. Indiana broke away from a 50-50 tie midway through the second half, and then hung on for a 73-67 victory over their rivals from the Bluegrass State, earning a spot in the Sweet 16 for the third time in five…

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Tipping off: What to watch on third day of NCAA Tournament

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Here’s a quick look at what’s on tap in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, and an even quicker look back at Friday’s action: ___ WE MEET AGAIN Indiana and Kentucky haven’t met since 2012 because of a disagreement over where they should play. Leave it to the NCAA to fix that issue, even if the timing doesn’t feel quite right. The fifth-seeded Hoosiers (26-7) and fourth-seeded Wildcats (27-8) will play for the 57th time Saturday. It’s a matchup of border-state…

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College basketball begins Friday; Gators introduce new Coach Mike White

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The college basketball season tips off on Friday with several games around the country. Few should see competitive games, but fans of Florida schools are anxious to get their first look at their squads. Florida receives extra attention because new coach Mike White steps in to replace the most successful coach the Gators have ever had. Billy Donovan, who won 653 games and two national championships during his 19 seasons, is now coaching the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. White’s very…

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