published Sunday, March 16th, 2014

No. 1 Florida holds off Kentucky 61-60 in SEC championship

Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin (5) and Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison (5) vie for a loose ball in the closing seconds of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Championship round of the Southeastern Conference men's tournament, Sunday, March 16, 2014, in Atlanta. Florida won 61-60.
Florida guard Scottie Wilbekin (5) and Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison (5) vie for a loose ball in the closing seconds of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Championship round of the Southeastern Conference men's tournament, Sunday, March 16, 2014, in Atlanta. Florida won 61-60.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

ATLANTA — Top-ranked Florida capped a perfect run through the Southeastern Conference when Kentucky failed to get off a shot on its final possession, allowing the Gators to escape with a 61-60 victory in the league championship game Sunday.

Florida (32-2) built a 16-point lead early in the second half, but Kentucky nearly pulled off an improbable comeback to hand the Gators their first loss since early December. Two missed free throws gave the Wildcats (24-10) a final possession, but James Young slipped trying to drive into the lane.

The Gators extended their school-record winning streak to 26 games and awaited a sure No. 1 seed when the NCAA pairings are announced Sunday evening. Patric Young and Michael Frazier II led Florida with 14 points apiece, while Scottie Wilbekin and Casey Prather had 11 each.

Kentucky, also headed for the NCAAs, was paced by Aaron Harrison with 16 points.

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