College basketball has gone past the halfway point of the conference season. Now every game takes on greater importance for the teams that are trying to make the NCAA Tournament. FanHouse will take a look at the teams that find somewhere between the NCAA or NIT.
Team: Florida Gators
Record: 21-7 (8-5 SEC)
Good Wins: At Washington and South Carolina
Bad Losses: At Georgia
Comments: The Gators played a very weak non-conference schedule that came in with a dismal 240th on the strength of schedule (SOS). They have the very good win against Washington, but in their only other games against major conference teams -- Syracuse and Florida State -- they came away with losses.
In the SEC they have won almost all of their games against the teams below them, so they only have one "bad" loss. With the exception of splitting the season series with South Carolina, they have not beaten any of the other top teams in the SEC. Not Kentucky, LSU or Tennessee. Against teams in the RPI top-50 they are only 2-5.
Other Views: Florida is 41st in RPI, the Basketball State has them 63d, while the Sagarin Ratings have them at 44th.
Verdict: Florida's computer numbers are decent enough to get them into the NCAA Tournament right now. They do need to win some more conference games, as they played a ridiculously bad non-conference slate coupled with a down conference. Ten of their wins this season came against teams with a sub-150 RPI.
The Gators chances at the NCAA hinge on their final three games. They face Tennessee and Kentucky at home and have a road game with Mississippi State. Win two of three and they should be in the NCAA Tournament with a 10-6 conference record.
Lose two of three and they will have to go to the SEC Tournament Championship Game to get in to the big dance.