Kentucky's victory over Florida was a season-changer.
It gave a huge boost to Kentucky's resume in the form of a quality win -- in this case, against the conference champion, ranked No. 6 in the NCAA's official RPI standings. It's only the second top-50 RPI win UK has on the season.
It also set up a very beneficial SEC Tournament draw for Kentucky that should enable it to strengthen its NCAA Tournament case, and, perhaps, its seeding. The Wildcats got an important double-bye, will play either Arkansas or Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals, and likely will play either Missouri or Ole Miss in the semifinals.
Had the Wildcats lost to Florida -- something that looked like a near certainty with under eight minutes to play, and something that probably would have happened if Florida could have scored even one basket in that final homestretch -- not only would it have taken away that high-quality win, it would have given UK a much tougher route through the conference tournament.
Instead of being the No. 2 seed, UK would have been the No. 5 seed. That means it would have to play Thursday against either South Carolina or Mississippi State. That game wouldn't be a problem, but it would still have to be played.
UK then would have had to play Tennessee, the four seed, in the quarterfinals. The Volunteers have been playing better over the course of the last few weeks, including a 30-point beatdown of Kentucky, and would have been a very tough opponent at that early stage.
Had the Cats advanced from there, they likely would then have to play Florida in the semifinal.
Considering that road, and that UK would have been working from behind in terms of making an NCAA Tournament resume case, a loss to Florida would have been a season-ender.