Found March 17, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Florida closed the Southeastern Conference tournament by continuing its season-long trend of coming up short in close games. The 13th-ranked Gators can only hope it isn't a sign of things to come. Florida led by as many as 14 points and was up 12 at halftime Sunday before Mississippi rallied for a 66-63 victory to win its first SEC tournament title since 1981. Florida (26-7) entered the day leading the nation in scoring margin, but the Gators now head into the NCAA tournament with an 0-6 record in games decided by six points or fewer. All their wins have featured double-digit margins. Gators coach Billy Donovan said he wasn't concerned about his team's confidence in these types of down-to-the-wire situations. ''What happens sometimes is people try to create drama around a situation that's not necessarily true,'' Donovan said. Donovan said Florida's problem Sunday wasn't execution in the closing minutes when the Gators nearly worked their way back from a six-point deficit. He instead cited the Gators' offensive struggles and uncharacteristic defensive breakdowns early in the second half. Mississippi (26-8) opened the second half on a 26-8 run to take a six-point lead. Florida fought its way back from there and had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds. After getting fouled with 4.2 seconds left, Florida's Scottie Wilbekin missed his first free throw and then intentionally missed his second attempt. The rebound went to Boynton, who took a step behind the 3-point line and attempted a game-tying shot that bounced off the rim. ''I was trying to back up and make sure it was a 3-point shot before time ran out, so it was kind of a rushed shot,'' Boynton said. Boynton scored 13 points to make the all-tournament team along with teammate Erik Murphy. Mike Rosario had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Gators, while Murphy Holloway had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Mississippi. But this tournament belonged to Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson. The fiery SEC scoring leader had 27 points in a quarterfinal victory over Missouri and 23 in a semifinal triumph over Vanderbilt. His penchant for big shots and brash statements had made him the talk of the event. Henderson was 1 of 6 field and scored three points in the first half Sunday. He finished with 21 points and was named the tournament's most valuable player. ''It's a crazy feeling,'' Henderson said. ''We knew we were going to make it the whole time. We just went through some adversity, but we've gone through adversity pretty much every game. ... If we could play in the first half like we play in the second half, we'd win by 20 every game.'' Florida's long-range shooting helped the Gators lead throughout the first half. Florida shot 7 of 14 from 3-point range while Mississippi was 2 of 9. That didn't bother Mississippi, which erased a 14-point, second-half deficit against Missouri and trailed by nine against Vanderbilt. The Rebels came storming back again Sunday and shot 53.6 percent (15 of 28) in the second half against one of the nation's toughest defenses. Ole Miss did all that while playing without starting point guard Jarvis Summers, who sat out a second straight game with a concussion. ''Florida's had a lot of success. ... They're a legitimate Final Four contender,'' Mississippi coach Andy Kennedy said. ''Not saying they didn't want to win this game, but for us, this was a special moment. It's been a long time since Ole Miss had been on this stage. And our guys had earned the right to be here, and I wanted us to seize it.'' Mississippi took its first lead with 12:16 left when Henderson made three free throws after getting fouled by Wilbekin while attempting a 3-point shot. That marked the second time in a span of 3 1/2 minutes that Wilbekin had fouled Henderson on a 3-point attempt, resulting in six points. After Florida briefly regained the lead, Mississippi moved back ahead and built a six-point advantage during one devastating sequence. Nick Williams missed a 3-point attempt, but Buckner tapped the ball back toward Henderson, who sank a baseline 3-pointer that put Mississippi ahead 59-53. Henderson celebrated by doing the Gator chomp to the crowd during the ensuing timeout. The Gators kept coming back, though they never tied the game or regained the lead. Florida played hard enough down the stretch to support Donovan's notion that the team still has plenty of confidence in tight games. ''Did we fight and battle and scratch? Yes,'' Donovan said. ''I didn't feel like our guys' confidence was down.'' Florida trailed 61-59 and had a shot to even the score when Michael Frazier II - an 85 percent free throw shooter - missed the front end of a 1-and-1. The Gators made 3 of 11 free throws in the second half. Florida had one more chance to tie the game in the final minute when Casey Prather stole the ball from Henderson, but Murphy's 8-footer in the paint bounced off the rim with less than 10 seconds left. When Boynton's 3-point attempt also went off the rim, Florida had one more close loss.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES
CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES

Ole Miss' Henderson enjoys Tourney berth

Marshall Henderson dispatched Florida for a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Following the win he partied down hard with Denzel Nkemdiche and the Rebels.

Marshall Henderson Taunts Florida Fans With Gator Chomp As Ole Miss Clinches SEC Title (Animation)

The most entertaining — and controversial — player in college basketball is headed for the Big Dance. Marshall Henderson and the Ole Miss Rebels clinched the SEC title and an automatic tournament bid with 66-63 comeback win over a Florida squad likely bound for a top-three seed. Henderson played a game-high 39 minutes, totaled 21 points and was, of course, anything but humble...

Mississippi's colorful Henderson hits big stage

The Marshall Henderson road show has at least one more stop. Mississippi's polarizing and high-scoring guard averaged more than 23 points per game in the Rebels' run to a Southeastern Conference title. Along the way, he dumped 27 points on Missouri, flummoxed Vanderbilt's defense and mocked Florida's crowd by doing the school's gator chomp after making a big...

Rebels' Henderson hits big stage

The Marshall Henderson road show has at least one more stop. Mississippi's polarizing and high-scoring guard averaged more than 23 points per game in the Rebels' run to a Southeastern Conference title. Along the way, he dumped 27 points on Missouri, flummoxed Vanderbilt's defense and mocked Florida's crowd by doing the school's gator chomp after making a big...

20 NSFW Anti- Marshall Henderson Tweets After He Leads Ole Miss Over Missouri

Twitter.com/NativeFlash22 Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss really need to make the 2013 NCAA tournament for sheer entertainment value. The Rebels advanced to the Southeastern Conference semifinals with Friday night’s win over Missouri. Thanks to Henderson — and the scrum the teams had in their meeting at Mizzou earlier this year— Ole Miss and Missouri is now a sort-of rivalry...

Marshall Henderson Does Gator Chomp At Florida Fans As Ole Miss Wins SEC Title

Gif.mocksession.com Just as he did to Missouri’s fans on Friday night, Marshall Henderson of Ole Miss trolled the Florida fans on Sunday afternoon in Nashville. Henderson helped the Rebels take a six-point lead over No. 13 Florida in the second half of the SEC title game. Not the type to miss an opportunity to enrage the fans of the opposition, Henderson did the Gator Chomp motion...

Marshall Henderson, Ole Miss Among the Upset-Minded Heading Into NCAA Tournament (Photos)

Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss are in the tournament. This could spell trouble for second-round opponent Wisconsin. The Badgers earned a No. 5 seed in the West Region while the Rebels come storming in after taking the automatic bid from the SEC. Against a shooter like Henderson, Bo Ryan and his Badgers can be one of several teams to get bounced early. This is a wide-open field...

Florida vs. Alabama game preview

Game time: 1 p.m. TV: ABC After watching Florida stumble down the stretch, Billy Donovan challenged his team to come out with more intensity in the SEC tournament. The conference's top-seeded squad responded with its best performance in a month. The 13th-ranked Gators look to build on an impressive showing and take a step closer to adding a tournament title to their regular...

SEC may have a Cinderella in the NCAAs

The snubs were not unexpected. In fact, they weren't really snubs. As much as Kentucky fans want to believe their Wildcats deserved the benefit of the doubt on Selection Sunday, the defending national champions simply weren't that good. Neither was Alabama, nor Vanderbilt, or even 20-12 Tennessee. Only three SEC teams made it to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and...

Florida, Ole Miss to meet in SEC tourney finals

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Florida knows it's in the NCAA Tournament. Ole Miss thinks it is, but wants to make sure. They'll play here Sunday at noon in the Southeastern Conference Tournament championship game. To the victor goes the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament field of 68. That would come as a relief to Ole Miss (25-8), which entered SEC tourney play firmly...

Badgers to face Ole Miss in NCAA tournament

CHICAGO As scheduling opponents go, Wisconsin and Ole Miss don't share many similarities. But Badgers coach Bo Ryan knows one result certainly will keep his players' attention this week. "They beat a team that crushed us earlier in the year," Ryan said. He was referring to Mississippi's 66-63 victory against Florida during the SEC championship on Sunday....

Ole Miss beats Florida for SEC title

Murphy Holloway scored 23 points and Marshall Henderson had 21 as the Mississippi Rebels gave coach Andy Kennedy his first NCAA tournament berth Sunday by upsetting 13th-ranked Florida 66-63 for the Southeastern Conference tournament championship. The Rebels (26-8) now have won seven of eight grabbing their first tournament title since 1981 and their second ever. Even though they...

Despite “traveling circus,” Ole Miss seniors lead Rebs to title

Ole Miss came into the SEC Tournament as a proverbial bubble team.  They leave as a solid NCAA participant.  The inside play of Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner plus the pomp, circumstance, and swagger of Marshall Henderson carried the Rebels to a 66-63 win over Florida in the SEC Final on Sunday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena. Murphy Holloway was the key to an Ole Miss SEC...

2013 March Madness – West Region (First Weekend)

The West region is where there could be some turbulence the first weekend. That is because mid-major but not really a mid-major darling Gonzaga is the number one seed. The Zags resume isn’t overly impressive but their 31-2 overall record was too hard for the committee not to reward. Another mid-major darling in the region is number three seed New Mexico. Everyone seems to be really...

Missouri takes tough loss to Mississippi

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Derrick Millinghaus made a driving basket with 1.1 seconds left Friday as No. 3 seed Mississippi rallied from a 14-point, second-half deficit to beat No. 6 seed Missouri 64-62 in the Southeastern Conference tournament quarterfinals. Mississippi (24-8) advanced to a Saturday semifinal against No. 10 seed Vanderbilt (16-16), which upset No. 2 seed Kentucky...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.