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How do the Gators match up with UF's past Final Four teams? You decide.

Donovan Florida's regular season is in the books, and despite a few moments of extreme disappointment earlier in the year, the Gators are looking like the team we all thought they'd be when the season started.

They finished strong with a win at Vanderbilt on Saturday, a victory that ends the year in very positive fashion (except for this unfortunate incident). All five starters scored in double figures to clinch the first SEC title since 2007 -- back when UF was the Jesus of college basketball.

That got me thinking: Where does this team rank compared to some of the great Florida teams of the past? So, since I'm so popular and cool, I spent a large part of my Saturday night preparing a blind comparison between this team, the 2000 NCAA Tourney runners up and the national champions from 2006 and 2007.

Below, you'll find the four teams listed in random order and compared across the categories that I either thought were important or were easily researchable thanks to the wonders of this website.

So, take a look, try to figure out which seasons are most impressive to you, rank them, then click the "continue" link and see if anything surprises you. PLEASE don't sit there and try to figure out which is which based on clues because that's no fun, and it'll mean I sacrificed untold amounts of booze and women for nothing tonight.

Note: Numbers are from the regular season only. I used AP rankings for the wins and losses when applicable but went with RPI across the board so that every team has some context.

Here we go:

Team A
Record: 24-6, 10-6 SEC
RPI: 15
Vs. the Spread: 14-10
Vs. AP Top 25: 2-1
Scoring: 78.3 to 63.5 (14.8-pt margin of victory)
Best 5 Wins: By 9 vs. RPI #13, By 5 vs. RPI #17/AP #16, By 15 vs. RPI #41, By 15 at RPI #41, By 5 vs. RPI #85/AP #19.
Losses: By 4 at RPI #6, By 4 vs RPI #6/AP #10, By 4 at RPI #45, By 5 at RPI #56, By 6 at RPI #62, By 4 vs. RPI #62.

Team B
Record: 24-6, 13-3 SEC
RPI: 11
Vs. the Spread: 13-13
Vs. AP Top 25: 4-2
Scoring: 71.5 to 62.4 (9.1-pt margin)
Best 5 Wins: By 2 vs. RPI #12/AP #10, By 13 vs. RPI #16/AP #6, By 4 at RPI #23, By 10 at RPI #25/AP #21, By 4 vs. RPI #25/AP #23.
Losses: By 18 vs. RPI #2/AP #4, By 8 at RPI #12/AP #22, By 3 at RPI #53, By 7 at RPI #104, By 3 vs. RPI #128, By 3 vs. RPI #149.

Team C
Record: 23-6, 12-4 SEC
RPI: 9
Vs. the Spread: 14-9
Vs. AP Top 25: 4-4
Scoring: 83.8 to 68.9 (14.9-pt margin)
Best 5 Wins: By 17 vs. RPI #5/AP #11, By 25 vs. RPI #12/AP #24, By 29 vs. RPI #27/AP #11, By 2 vs. RPI #31, By 26 vs. RPI #41/AP #20.
Losses: By 15 at RPI #5/AP #22, By 3 at RPI #15/AP #8, By 2 vs. RPI #15/AP #16, By 11 vs. RPI #25/AP #22, By 2 at RPI #37, By 10 at RPI #41.

Team D
Record: 26-5, 13-3 SEC
RPI: 6
Vs. the Spread: 10-13-1
Vs. AP Top 25: 4-1
Scoring: 79.8 to 62.6 (17.2-pt margin)
Best 5 Wins: By 26 vs RPI #1/AP #3, By 16 vs. RPI #12, By 3 at RPI #13/AP #20, By 13 vs. RPI #13, By 10 vs. RPI #47/AP #24.
Losses: By 2 vs. RPI #11/AP #10, By 10 at RPI #12, By 4 at RPI #41, By 13 at RPI #47, By 10 at RPI #90.

OK, so I just did this research and typed it out, and I've already forgotten which team is which (I think one of them is the Monstars from Space Jam).

By overall record, it goes: D, B, A, C.
By RPI, it's: D, C, B, A.
Against the spread, it's: C, A, B, D.
Against the Top 25: D, B, A, C.
Margin of victory:  D, C, A, B.

As far as wins and losses, you can judge for yourself. Team B had the worst losses but is also the only one with five wins against the RPI Top 25, and though Team D probably wins those categories as well, C really beat the hell out of some people and had the "best" losses.

Hopefully you made your way through all those numbers. If so, towel off, grab a drink and click continue.

So, who you got?

It shouldn't come as a surprise that the 2007 national champs are Team D (they pretty much were the Monstars). The 2006 national champs are A, this year's squad is B, and the 2000 runners up are C.

So, how did the 2011 Gators do on your list? Shocked at how well they compare to these great teams from the past? Take away the three-point losses to South Carolina and Jacksonville that NEVER should have happened, and you've got a school record for SEC wins and a 26-4 record. Regardless, their numbers stack up pretty well with three teams that made the Final Four.

Of course, the paper trail doesn't matter for much. In person, the 2007 Florida team would beat the tar out of the 2011 version (and everyone else). But the point is that through the end of the regular season, these Gators have performed about as well as any in school history. Some close calls and the potential to lose to teams like UCF and JU are worrisome, but they've also shown the ability to play very well, and Saturday's win against Vanderbilt was an especially encouraging way to enter the postseason.


Hit me with your thoughts. How do you feel about this crew? And how does your confidence in them compare to the 2000, 2006 and 2007 squads?


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Mike, good work, but I feel sorry for you bro. The only thing Gator fans care about (at least those in South Florida) is football! You can post the most meaningless Football blog and get dozens of replies from Gators and the pesty haters, but these rules apparently don't apply to basketball or baseball. That being said, I think both basketball and baseball teams are looking incredible. GO GATORS!

I don't get your comment at the top - 2nd paragraph - that the season ended on a postive note, "except for this incident." I assumed a player for UF did something dirty or was arrested - in other words, something to end the season on a negative note. Instead, it is a clip of a Vanderbilt player running over Chandler Parsons. I thought it should have been a charging fowl, but it wasn't called. As far as I know Chandler wasn't hurt, so how does this qualify as ending the season on a negative note? It's one play in one game where a player got knocked down. What's your point?

Oops. "Foul," not fowl. My bad.

Yea Rico you pretty much hit the nail on the head there, but I'm still gonna try.

And Knoxville, relax man, it's just a little joke. The point was that just about everything that came out of the game was a positive for Florida except for Chandler getting posterized by Brad Tinsley.

It was No. 1 on SportsCenter and embarrassing, and you hate to see that happen to someone like Parsons when he's just sliding in late for help defense. That's all. Also, no way that can be called charging when it's right under the basket, but maybe that's just me.

The cliff notes version of this is that all the previous final four teams have a scoring avg close to 80 and allow a score of 65, giving a vvictory margin of 15. This teams problems earlier in the year can be attributed to the small scoring differential. However, if you look at our past 2 games we seem to be scoring close to 80 or so and give up in he lat 60's. So, I think this team can make a run of the recent games are an indicator.

Good Article, Mike! Interesting insight on how we match up this year. Although my glasses are orange and blue tinted, theres something about this team that just makes my confidence in them waver compared to those other teams... Spring is gonna be awesome if what we saw this weekend with Basketball and Baseball is any indication! Go Gators

BTW - at the risk of inciting the malcontents, thier silence is deafening!

I think this team can make the sweet 16,and maybe even the elite 8. But we dont quite have the inside presence that we had on our title teams. The reason we won those two championships were beacuse of Noah/Horfords ability to block and alter shots,and get the second chance points we got from the offensive rebounds. I just see us running onto a team with a dominant center, and us having a bad night shooting to be to much to overcome to go all the way.

The difference in margin of victory is telling. Looking at that stat alone, I knew Team D was the 2007 team (the strongest of the four) and Team B was the current team (by far the weakest of the four).

Not to take anything away from this year's squad, they really came on strong and ended up with a very fine regular season (after some inexcusable early losses), but comparing them to the Final Four teams is a stretch.

SEC regular season champs, 13-3 league record (tied our best), Donovan's first COY and Parsons as POY in the SEC are nice milestones.

I'd like to see a Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight tourney run to call it a successful post-season. An SEC tourney title would be very nice as well.

nice post! i was wondering how this years squad stacked up to the others myself

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