Florida - Jackson State Preview
Florida (1) Vs. Jackson State (16)
Friday, 3/16 @ 9:40
Betting Line From Bookmaker: Florida -28
The Florida Gators (29- 5, 13- 3 SEC E) played like champions this season and thus secured the top seed in the Midwest. They won the SEC East in the regular season and the conference tournament too. The Jackson State Tigers (21- 13, 12- 6 SWAC) finished second in the regular season but won the SWAC Tournament, which put them in the Big Dance. They enter the tournament with a five-game winning streak.
The Gators may be the best team in the tournament. But they have had some lapses in play this season, which included a three-game skid in February. Perimeter defense, poor shot choices and an ineffectual Joakim Noah (12.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.4 APG) had them losing three of four to Vandy, Tennessee and LSU. The team spreads out its point production with four juniors—Al Horford (13.2 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 2.2 APG), Taurean Green (13.1 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.5 APG), Corey Brewer (12.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.1 APG) and Noah-- throwing in almost equal amounts per contest.
The small Jackson State forwards will have a tough time matching-up with Florida’s big men, and the Tigers’ outside shooting isn’t good enough to save them. Senior guard Trey Johnson (27.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.5 APG) puts up points like some players put in minutes. He’s able to handle double and triple teams and you’ll see the other Tigers constantly trying to get him the ball.
Can Trey Johnson, the SWAC Payer of the Year, beat Florida? Highly unlikely, but he will try. Jackson State is simply outmatched here. But they should play loose, because they have nothing to lose.