After a surprise loss to UNC Wilmington, Kentucky had since won four straight games, including wins over ACC programs, UNC and Louisville. Their first opponent to open SEC play was Florida, a good team that has shown both promise and flaws in the non-conference.
Still, with this being the first true road game of the season for the young squad, it was unknown how they’d do in front of a hostile road crowd. They trailed for a good portion of the game but managed to stay close. That proved to be the fatal flaw for the Gators, as the Wildcats made a late run to get the lead and ultimately hold on for the 87-85 win.
Five players were in double figures for Kentucky, led by 19 points from Antonio Reeves, along with 12 points and 10 rebounds from Tre Mitchell. Freshman forward Aaron Bradshaw was the hero of the game, scoring all 10 points in the final 10 minutes of the game, including a clutch three-pointer at the very end to get the late lead.
With Florida comfortably in the top-75 of the NET rankings, this is going to be a definite Quad 1 win for Kentucky. And for a team ranked in the top 10 of the latest AP top-25 rankings, the Wildcats should start to see if they can fight for a 2-3 seed in the Big Dance. The next two opponents will be more opportunities to enhance their resume, with Texas A&M and Missouri up next.