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Florida vs. Arizona College Basketball

Florida Basketball
Florida Basketball

The best matchup in college basketball on Wednesday night is easily in Gainesville, Fla., when the No. 12 Gators host Arizona in a matchup of the Pac-10 and SEC regular-season champions from a season ago. Both clubs have high NCAA Tournament expectations this season. The Gators are slight college basketball bets favorites on This game is at 7 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

Arizona (6-2) was in the Top 25 to start the season but losses to Mississippi State and San Diego State – two very good teams – dropped the Cats out. They have since won two straight, beating Northern Arizona 53-39 on Saturday for their 28th straight win over their in-state rivals.

Florida (5-2) has already played two Top-5 teams this year, losing by 7 at Ohio State and by 4 at Syracuse in the Gators’ last game on Dec. 2. UF, which entered that game shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc and was averaging 12 3-pointers a game, was just 9-for-26 from long range. Kenny Boynton led the team with 22 points. Five UF players averages in double-figures, led by Boynton’s 19.0 ppg average. Patric Young leads Florida with a 7.3 rebounds per game average.

The Gators will get a key player back for this one. Junior forward Erik Murphy, who missed the past three games with a knee injury, is expected to play. Murphy was averaging 10 points and 4 rebounds before he bruised his knee and aggravated a slightly torn meniscus he already had from high school. Murphy’s return adds size inside and another outside shooter. The Gators were outrebounded 40-33 in the loss at Syracuse on Friday, clearly missing Murphy’s inside presence.

This is UA’s first trip to the state of Florida since the 2009 NCAA Tournament’s first/second rounds in Miami. This game is the third meeting of the two schools with the teams split at one win apiece. Arizona won the first meeting, 75-71, on Nov. 9, 2001, in New York City and Florida captured the next, 78-77, on Nov. 28, 2003, in Springfield, Mass.

SA Take: We are taking Arizona +11

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 2011-previews-picks, College Basketball Betting

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