FINALS WATCH: Rex Chapman still Kentucky blue

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Former Kentucky guard Rex Chapman and Florida coach Billy Donovan are longtime friends.

Chapman spoke for several minutes with Donovan on the court Friday while the Gators went through their open practice at the NCAA Final Four.

Don’t worry Wildcat fans, Chapman, who lives in Phoenix and has worked as commentator and scout since retiring from the NBA in 2000, still bleeds Kentucky blue.

So is Chapman pulling for an all-SEC national championship game between his Wildcats and Florida?

”I’m pulling for a Kentucky final,” Chapman said. ”I don’t know how much want to face Florida again.”

Donovan was a Kentucky assistant coach when Chapman was in the NBA and used to go back to Lexington for summer workouts. One of Donovan’s assistant coaches at Florida is John Pelphrey, also a former Kentucky player and a friend of Chapman’s.

Chapman never got to play in the Final Four, and this is the first time he’s been there since Syracuse won the 2003 title in New Orleans.

”With Carmelo Anthony,” Chapman said. ”Yep, it’s been a while.”

– Stephen Hawkins –

NCAA Finals Watch follows the Final Four games and all the activities surrounding the event as seen by journalists from The Associated Press in North Texas – from the big stadium in Arlington where the games will be played to downtown Dallas. It will be updated throughout the day with breaking news and other items of interest.