LEXINGTON, Ky. -- With Florida set to play its regular-season finale Saturday at Rupp Arena, the subject of the Gators’ struggles on the road and in close games figures to come up.
Maybe before the game, maybe during it.
There is a perception out there that UF falls apart when games are close, a notion rooted in those crushing losses in the Elite Eight the last two years.
And at Arizona in December.
Again at Missouri last month.
Makes you wonder how the Gators will fare if they’re locked up in a tight one with the desperate, on-the-bubble Wildcats Saturday.
Well, I happened onto an interesting blog from SI.com college basketball writer Andy Glockner that takes on this very perception relative to the Gators and addresses the skepticism surrounding Coach Billy Donovan’s bunch despite all 24 of its victories coming by double digits.
Glockner takes UF’s case and compares it to that of New Mexico, which apparently has its doubters also because the Lobos don’t blow out very many of their opponents.
Check out the Glockner’s latest post here. It’s called “Number Theory: The Florida/New Mexico Paradox.”
Excellent piece, backed up with some good data, including a chart of that lists the teams from the last five NCAA tournaments -- only 10 of them -- to be ranked in the top 10 in both offensive efficiency rating (points per possessions) and defensive efficiency rating (points allowed per possession).
Seven of the 10 made it to the Elite Eight, six advanced to the Final Four and three won the national championship.
Florida ranks second in offensive efficiency and fifth in defensive. No other team in the nation is in the top 10 in both this season, much less the top five.
For what it's worth.