GAINESVILLE -- It was difficult to watch, it made Gators fans sick to their stomachs, but Tuesday night's loss to Vanderbilt wasn't the death of the Florida Gators basketball season. Nope. Death could come more slowly.
The loss to No.13 Vanderbilt on Tuesday at O'Connell Center didn't lock the Gators out of the NCAA Tournament but it certainly made things much more difficult for coach Billy Donovan and his talent-strapped band of hard-working plucksters. There seem to be three main scenarios by which the Gators can still play their way into the NCAA Tournament. Here they are:
2. The more likely scenario: Lose to the Kentucky on Sunday, but then defeat Mississippi State in the second round of the SEC Tournament next week. This game would likely be a play-in game to the NCAA Tournament, at least that's what the Gators are hoping. It won't be easy. Florida plays on Thursday evening while Mississippi State will have a first-round bye. Upsets during conference-championship week could keep the Gators out of the NCAA Tournament. At this point, UF will be rooting for teams like Butler and Siena.
3. Music City Miracle: Somehow win the SEC Tournament.