Florida could be rare SEC unbeaten not named Kentucky

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When it welcomes to Kentucky to the O’Dome on Saturday, Florida will be aiming to be the first SEC basketball team to go 18-0 in the regular season.

Kentucky has finished three SEC regular seasons at 16-0. The Cats accomplished that feat under Rick Pitino in 1996, under Tubby Smith in 2003 and John Calipari in 2012.

In fact, of the 20 teams that have gone through SEC basketball play undefeated — not counting the World War II season of 1943-44 when only six league schools played basketball that year — 14 belonged to Kentucky.

The last SEC team to go undefeated that was not Kentucky was Alabama in 1956. That team was coached by John Dee, who later went on to be the head coach at Notre Dame.

Under Billy Donovan, the best Florida has ever done in the SEC were 13-3 regular seasons in 2006-07 and 2010-11. That 2007 team won the school’s second consecutive national title. Donovan’s 2006 national champion team went 10-6 in the SEC.

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Photo of Billy Donovan by AP

Related link: SEC men’s basketball standings

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