UF in need of more wins, expert says
Last night's 77-64 road win over Georiga may have gone a long way in bolstering Florida's NCAA championship resume, but the Gators still have work to do, at least one expert said Thursday.
Joe Lunardi, the ESPN Bracketologist, said the Gators need to win at least one of their remaining regular season home games if they want to feel more comfortable heading into Selection Sunday. Florida (21-7, 8-5 SEC) will host Mississippi State at 4 p.m. Saturday, then host Tennessee next Wednesday. Florida closes out the regular season at Kentucky.
"They've got to get at least one of them,'' Lunardi said. "They can't lose two home games . . . and then go to Kentucky, which is going to be just as desperate, if not more.''
Lunardi said winning two home games would be much better for the Gators. If they split the final home games, they may have a lot of work to do in the SEC Tournament, Lunardi said, working under the assumption that a win at Rupp Arena will be very tough for the Gators to pull off.
For now, Lunardi said, the Gators aren't in dire straits, but they aren't a lock for the tournament by far. Florida is being helped by the faltering of some other teams down the stretch.
"I think winning the road game (at Georgia Wednesday night) was a great start,'' he said. "The other great advantage I think Florida has at this moment is the bubble is really soft. Typically at this time of year more teams are playing their way out than in but if you look at the bubble listings - last four in and last four out over the last week or two - nobody's winning any games. Or so it seems. At least three out of four are losing, it seems to me right now. So if Florida can just win the games they are supposed to win and not get a bad loss early in the SEC Tournament I think they'll find themselves in the bracket.''