UF's Dancing shoes might not fit

Some people are predicting the worst, but UF guard Nick Calathes is confident the Gators can still make the Tourney.

GAINESVILLE -- Dirty Dancing conjecture, anyone? Oh, I thought so.

OK, it has already been established that we think the basketball team's current magic number to receive Projections an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament stands at three wins. The whole magic number thing started about three weeks ago, before the Gators lost four of their last six games, before the Gators lost to the worst team in the league and before the Gators lost their first game at home.

Now comes along this prediction by the ESPN predictor guy. As it stands right now, he says the Gators are one of the first four teams to be left out of the Tournament, giving the Southeastern Conference just four teams in the field of 64. The four SEC teams in the Tournament, according to ESPN, are LSU, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. I've got to agree with that projection for now.

(Keep reading to vote in the poll.)

UF guard Nick Calathes doesn't know much about Tournament projections but he still has confidence in his team. He told reporters on Monday that he thinks the Gators will make the Big Dance. Some papers Calathes will write that Calathes "predicted" a spot in the Tournament, but what he said was really akin to a show of quiet confidence from Florida's best player.

"I'm looking at it like we're going to make the Tournament and I think that we will," Calathes said. "I think we will definitely make the Tournament." 

Florida (21-8, 8-6 SEC) hosts Kentucky (19-10, 8-6) in the season finale on Sunday. Both teams are currently tied for second in the SEC East behind South Carolina (20-7, 9-5) and Tennessee (18-10, 9-5), which are tied for first. Kentucky lost to LSU on Sunday. Both Florida and Kentucky obviously need to win the season finale to strengthen their chances of receiving at-large bids. But let's not get too ahead of ourselves.

The Gators play at Mississippi State (17-12, 7-7) on Wednesday and UF needs a road win more than ever. Winning in Starkville, Miss., will be no easy task considering UF has lost four straight away from the O'Connell Center. Kentucky's Wednesday night game is a little easier. The Wildcats host Georgia, which only has two conference wins this season (Florida and Vanderbilt).



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I think it was YOU who predicted three...I don't see how that is widely believed...

We have to win both of our regular season contests. Of course we'd have to win a game or two in the SEC tournament as well...but I'm thinking purely regular season here.

Or we could lose to Kentucky and win the SEC tournament. Those are the only two options...and option two doesn't really look possible with LSU and Tennessee in there.

The royal "we," as in just me.


If the shoe fits...if it doesn't...The "wait till next year" talk brings back lots of hazy but fond memories from Hog Town...as we would say, our swim team rocks! What a penthouse to outhouse ride! Yo jo, any other National Champ (forget two in a row type), EVER drop off the talent map like this. Orange and Blue forever, GO GATORS!

Ah, you mean, "The royal 'we,' the editorial..."

Guys, guys, guys...Ever? What about Calathes?

--Don't write the team off just yet. They have eight conference wins with two games left in the regular season. And don't forget the SEC Tournament is in Gators friendly Tampa.

--Here's a key stat people are going to start throwing around, every SEC team in modern men's basketball history that has finished the season with 10 conference wins has made the Tournament (91 of 91 teams).

--And let's not forget, SEC commissioner Mike Slive is the chairman of the NCAA Tournament selection committee this season. Can he get a fifth SEC team in the Dance?


Um, jo, he was asking if a back-to-back champion had "EVER" fallen off this way. The answer, in NCAA basketball, is NO. A champion never followed with an NIT birth, let alone the possibility of two.

The 10 conference wins is exactly why my magic number is TWO. Why is yours three with this fact? Yes, of course, they need to win at least one tourney game. But that shouldn't factor in what needs to be done in the regular season. If they lose to Kentucky or MSU and go two rounds in the tourney, they won't make March Madness. That's why the magic number is two.

Didn't North Carolina miss the tournament after their last win? They lost Sean May, Rashard McCants, Raymond Felton, Marvin Williams, David Noel and someone else I think. They were AWFUL the next year.

Nevermind, the next year was Hansborough's freshman year, and they made the tourney. My mistake.

Adam S.,

He asked about falling off the "talent map." So hostile these days....

As for the magic number thing, I have always prefaced it with the words to "insure an at-large bid." While a 10-win SEC team not making the Tournament would be unprecedented, it is certainly possible for the SEC this season.


Correct, Adam M. Also, even if they had, no team would have done it two years in a row.

Not being hostile...may have mis-read...

I agree, it is possible for them not to make it with 10...but I just don't look at conference tournaments including in the "magic number." I thought before the UT game it was 2 and still do. My point was that of course we need to win three (meaning the first round) but if we beat MSU, then lose to Kentucky, then win two rounds in the SEC, we still wouldn't get in. The importance is the regular season wins.

The important thing to know right now is that the Yankees are playing Team USA RIGHT NOW on the MLB channel. Love this new MLB channel.


Oh man I wish I was home...some of us have to work without TVs ya know... :(

Dan Werner's nickname in high school was "nit", which is amazing because as long as he's on the team the only tourney the Gators basketball team is going to is the NIT...

Donovan definitely needs to get more BEEF on the floor for longer periods of the game. I feel sorry for Tyus working his butt off in the middle. Let Kadji play 'til he drops and you'll see what Tyus can do at forward. Parsons and Werner are "nice little guys" but they need to get fired up and NASTY and help Calathes out more - rebounds, scoring, blocking out, etc.

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