Sports

NET rankings after loss vs LSU Tigers


Florida’s struggles during the month of December have carried over to January as the team has had a rough go of it to start SEC play. Its conference opener was postponed due to COVID-19, and the Gators were out of action for more than two weeks as a result. Since returning to play, they’ve suffered three-straight losses against some of the league’s top teams, and the most recent loss to LSU on Wednesday night, which came by a score of 64-58, dropped the team to 0-3 in SEC competition for the first time since 1981.

Despite the worst conference start in recent memory, the losses haven’t had a large effect on the team’s place in the NET Rankings. UF entered Wednesday night’s game at No. 49, and the loss to the No. 3 Tigers only dropped it one spot to No. 50 in the latest rankings.

Though Florida remains in a position to potentially make the NCAA Tournament, it can’t afford many more slipups in conference play. The opening stretch was certainly brutal, and the next four games against South Carolina, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss all look like more manageable matchups.

But none of those contests are currently considered to be Quadrant 1 for the Gators, and that’s the category where they really need some wins. They’re currently just 1-4 on the season against Quadrant 1 opponents, with the lone win coming on a buzzer-beater against Ohio State back in November. This UF team also carries losses in the Quadrant 3 and 4 categories on its resume, which could prove to be decisive if it finds itself on the bubble come March.

Regardless, the Gators need to get a win soon, and a loss in a Quadrant 2 game to South Carolina would likely put them outside the projected NCAA Tournament field.

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