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Florida Blows an Opportunity as Vanderbilt Survives

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In the only SEC game last night, Vanderbilt held off Florida 64-60 in Gainesville to remain marginally in the running for the SEC East title. Kentucky would have to lose its final two games for the Commodores to get that crown, but they are still in the race for now.

John Jenkins was the difference maker for Vandy, as he scored 18 points on six made three pointers. A.J. Ogilvy also came up big with 16 and 8. Vernon Macklin was easily the standout for the home team, as he was the only Gator in double figures with 21 points. UF's guards returned to their slumping ways, as Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton combined for an unsightly 3-24 from the field. Vandy led for the first 29 minutes of the game until Florida took the lead as a part of a 16-2 second half run. Vanderbilt came back though and held the Gators scoreless in the final two and a half minutes to pull away for good.

The Gators' bubble hasn't burst, especially since Illinois, Cincinnati, Minnesota, and Louisville all lost last night too. This sort of thing drives me nuts though. I'm not just picking on Chris, because every bracketologist does stuff like this to multiple teams every year. It's a four step process:

  1. The bracketologist declares that Team X has done enough to get in even if it doesn't beat tough opponents Team Y and Team Z to close out the season.
  2. Team X loses to Team Y. More often than not, on the same night other bubble teams lose or otherwise fail to score a big win.
  3. The bracketologist now moves Team X out of the bracket while noting that its resume suddenly looks weaker despite the fact that mere days ago, he said that Team X didn't have to beat Team Y and the bubble picture is largely unchanged.
  4. I unsuccessfully attempt to slap the bracketologist up side the head over the Internet.

Florida goes to Rupp Arena on Saturday, where presumably a win would put the Gators in for good. Florida won't win, of course, but that's what it would mean. Florida definitely can't blow its first round SEC tournament game and get in, and depending on how the other bubble teams shake out, it may need to win more than just that.