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Biggest SEC Basketball Rivalry

Which is the biggest SEC basketball rivalry? Well, to have a great rivalry you first need two great teams. Secondly, you need both teams to win some games against each other.

Historically, the University of Kentucky has so dominated SEC basketball, that a great rivalry with another SEC team was difficult to accomplish. However, that has all changed with the recent rise of the University of Florida's basketball program.

The University of Florida has had a significant historical edge over the University of Kentucky when it has come to supremacy on the gridiron, and in contrast, UK has traditionally been equally dominant, if not more so, when it came to their rivalry on the hard court. However, the times may be a-changing, and that has got to have fans in Lexington just a little bit nervous.

Despite the fact that the University of Kentucky leads their all-time series 84-30, the best rivalry in Southeastern Conference men's basketball probably is, in fact, their rivalry with the University of Florida simply because UK has such a dominant track record against the entire SEC. However, for the first time, over the course of recent years, a conference rival has shown some real dominance over UK, and that has been the Billy Donovan-led Florida Gators.

Now, keep in mind, prior to this recent run of success, UF had not been particularly successful vs. UK, as evidenced by the mismatch in overall record. Only in recent years has the University of Florida become competitive with and, recently, better than the University of Kentucky. But when looking over the course of SEC history, there has been no single team that, historically, has provided UK with a significant all-time challenge. However, in recent years, UF has become the dominant power in the SEC and as such, a rivalry has been born.

In fact, while their series match-up shows the University of Kentucky with that 54 game edge, in recent years, the series has been completely one sided in the other direction. In fact, when UF beat UK 64-61 in February of 2007, it marked Gator Basketball's fifth consecutive win over the Wildcats, only the second time that an opponent has accomplished such a task against the University of Kentucky in the past 30 years.

To further comment on the apparent 180 degree turn that this rivalry has taken, here are some interesting facts:

  • The University of Kentucky won the first 3 games between the schools, 19 of the first 20, and 22 of the first 24
  • The University of Kentucky, all-time, has had winning streaks of 16 games and 10 games vs. the University of Florida
  • The University of Florida's current 6 game winning streak vs. the University of Kentucky is double the longest ever win streak vs. UK previously, a 3 game streak in 1987-1988

Tale of the Tape


University of Florida: 51,520 University of Kentucky: 32,000

Playing Facility

University of Florida: O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Florida (Capacity: 12,000) University of Kentucky: Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky (Capacity: 23,500)

All-Time Head to Head Wins

University of Florida: 30 University of Kentucky: 84

Longest Head to Head Winning Streak

University of Florida: 6 (current) University of Kentucky: 16

All-Time SEC Wins (through 2005)

University of Florida: 486 University of Kentucky: 823

All-Time SEC Regular Season Championships

University of Florida: 3 University of Kentucky: 43

All-Time SEC Tournament Championships

University of Florida: 1 University of Kentucky: 25

Head to Head Wins since 2005

University of Florida: 6 University of Kentucky: 0

SEC Regular Season Championships since 2005

University of Florida: 1 University of Kentucky: 1

SEC Tournament Championships since 2005

University of Florida: 3 University of Kentucky: 0

If you liked this article, you'd probably also like reading about the

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Kentucky vs Arkansas Used To Be The Best SEC Basketball Rivalry 
Well up until 2001, Arkansas and Kentucky was by far the best rivalry in basketball the SEC has ever seen. From the time Arkansas joined to about 01 …

Kentucky vs LSU Not rated yet
Hello all...great information here! Where can i find the same information Kentucky vs. LSU? Historical records, wins losses etc?

Florida-Kentucky Basketball Rivalry Not rated yet
Florida-Kentucky is not the best rival in the SEC. I think that it is Floida-Tennessee. Editor's Note: Thanks, I'd say you are right now. Now …

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