Sports

NET ranking after loss to Auburn Tigers


UF’s loss to Auburn on the road on Saturday night was certainly a frustrating one. The team could have had the chance to make it competitive in the final minutes, as it overcame a big deficit to cut the Tigers’ lead to one. But the Gators didn’t shoot nearly well enough down the stretch, and AU couldn’t miss.

Though Florida missed an opportunity to earn a big Quadrant 1 win, a road loss to the Tigers, who rank sixth in the NET and only have one loss on the year, is not going to prove too costly come March. That’s reflected in the NET rankings, as UF only dropped just one spot from No. 49 to No. 50.

However, the Gators remain near the tournament fringe, and they’re just 1-3 on the season in Quadrant 1 matchups. They also have a Quadrant 3 and Quadrant 4 loss lingering, and that makes it crucial that the team pulls off a couple of upsets in conference play.

It will have its chances, as the team is currently projected to play six more Quadrant 1 games this season, starting with LSU on Wednesday night as the team returns home to Exactech Arena. The Tigers rank even higher in the NET than Auburn despite the latter winning the head-to-head matchup by 15 points on Dec. 29.

It’s hard to call a game against a NET top-five team a “must-win,” but it certainly feels that way for the Gators heading into the LSU matchup. The team’s poor finish to non-conference play has left it little room for error against conference teams, and it desperately needs to avoid an 0-3 start to SEC competition.

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