Now that Florida has lost a crucial home game to Mississippi State, the Gators are sitting at 21-8 overall and 8-6 in the conference. With the regular season dwindling to a close, Florida could easily earn a ticket to the Big Dance by winning their final two SEC games. There's just one problem with that, though: those two teams are Tennessee and Kentucky, and the Gators have to visit the 'Cats in Lexington.
Are the two-time defending national champions really in danger of missing the tournament for the first time in the last decade under Billy Donovan? In a word, yes. The Gators need to pull off an improbable victory against Tennessee in Gainesville, or defeat the Wildcats in Rupp Arena to secure a berth. A first-round knockout in the SEC tournament wouldn't help, either.
The Gators' problem this year has been their inconsistency. When they put together a strong defensive game like they did against Mississippi State, their offensive has fizzled. When they shoot lights out, they tend to forget to play with defensive intensity. Turnovers, so-so post play and youthful mistakes have contributed in all of their key losses.
I think the Gators need to win one of two in their final week of SEC play and win an SEC tourney round to get off the bubble and into the NCAA Tournament. Frankly, it's a tall order.
Florida Firmly on the Bubble After Loss to Mississippi State originally appeared on NCAA Basketball FanHouse on Sun, 02 Mar 2008 17:45:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.