Top 25: No. 13 Florida 61, Alabama 51
Nashville, Tenn. • Kenny Boynton scored 11 straight points during a 15-0 second-half run and No. 13 Florida overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half to beat Alabama 61-51 on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals.
The top-seeded Gators (26-6) advanced to Sunday championship game against Mississippi or Vanderbilt. Alabama (21-12), the tournament's No. 4 seed, will spend Sunday waiting to learn its fate from the NCAA tournament selection committee.
Most mock brackets had Alabama on the wrong side of the NCAA tournament bubble at the start of the week. Even after beating Tennessee 64-62 on Friday in a battle of bubble teams, Alabama said it still had more work to do and was trying to take its fate out of the selection committee's hands by earning the SEC's automatic bid.
Alabama went 12-6 in conference play during the regular season, but the Tide hurt its cause by going 1-5 in December, including home nonconference losses to Mercer and Tulane.
Boynton, who was held scoreless for the first 25 minutes, finished with a game-high 16 points. Patric Young had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Gators. Mike Rosario added 10 points.
Trevor Releford scored 12 points, and Nick Jacobs and Trevor Lacey both added 11 for Alabama.
Alabama led 37-27 with 16 minutes, 5 seconds remaining before Florida reeled off 15 straight points over the next five minutes. In the lone regular-season meeting between the two teams, Florida rallied from eight points down in the final 12Â½ minutes to win 64-52 on March 2 in Gainesville.