- Associated Press - Saturday, March 1, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Florida’s seniors, those four guys who fell just short of the Final Four the last three years, talked about cutting down the nets after clinching the Southeastern Conference’s regular-season championship.

It was a brief conversation. And a unanimous decision.

The top-ranked Gators chose not to break out the scissors. If they keep playing like they did against LSU on Saturday, they might end up with an even bigger celebration.

Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, and Florida used a season-high 13 3-pointers to overwhelm the Tigers 79-61 and extend its school-record winning streak to 21 games.

“Everybody on the team didn’t feel comfortable cutting them down right now because we knew we have more of a journey to go,” guard Casey Prather said.

Prather and Michael Frazier II added 14 points apiece for the Gators, who also won their 31st straight at home.

This one was never in doubt.

Florida (27-2, 16-0 SEC) scored the first eight points of the game, opened up a double-digit lead with consecutive 3-pointers from DeVon Walker and Finney-Smith and put the game away early in the second half with a flurry of points in the paint.

Prather made three consecutive driving finger rolls after the break. Patric Young had a dunk and then a left-handed hook shot. And Prather followed with a dunk and another driving layup that put Florida up 62-38 with about 11 minutes remaining.

About the only thing left to see was whether Florida would cut down the nets.

The Gators clinched the title Thursday night with Kentucky’s loss to Arkansas, and many expected they would ceremoniously celebrate in front of a sellout crowd Saturday.

It was never going to happen. Prather, Young and fellow seniors Scottie Wilbekin and Will Yeguete chose not to cut down the nets.

“We felt it was given to us when Kentucky lost,” Wilbekin said. “I was sitting on my couch watching TV. I didn’t do anything.”

Coach Billy Donovan wouldn’t have let them do it anyway, especially not with what happened in 2007. That team, the defending national champion led by Joakim Noah and Al Horford, cut down home nets after winning the SEC title and then lost its next two games.

“I regret that,” Donovan said.

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