A common cliche in sports is a "tale of two halves". Tuesday night in the O'Connell Center, that was the case in an extreme way. After a scrappy, physical first half that was dominated by missed shots and turnovers, the No. 14 Florida Gators and Alabama Crimson Tide were tied 30-30.
But following halftime, the Gators played perhaps their best basketball of the year. Taking advantage of Alabama's man defense, the Gators (23-6, 12-3 SEC) outscored the Tide (19-10, 11-4 SEC) 48-21, piling on the points late and running away with the victory. When the final horn sounded, the Gators had won 78-51.
On Senior Night in Gainesville, Chandler Parsons and Vernon Macklin each had 19 points and Alex Tyus addded 12. With the seconds winding down, Billy Donovan inserted oft-injured Adam Allen, who decided to forgo a potential fifth year of playing, into the game.
As Allen smiled and ran down the clock, the Gators wrapped up at least a share of their first SEC title (regular season or tournament) since 2007. A win over Vanderbilt Saturday would give them the championship outright.