Gator Basketball @ Ole Miss

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The winner of today's Florida-Ole Miss game will keep themselves in the NCAA hunt, while the loser might as well send in their bid book to the NIT committee. Florida (18-8, 7-4 SEC) needs this game because they only have four road wins, the best being at now surging Arkansas. Florida does have trips to Georgia and Kentucky left, but it's likely they split those two games. The Gators must beat Ole Miss to reinforce their resume. 

Ole Miss (17-8, 5-6) is reeling, as they have lost four of their last five games. They are also 2-3 in home SEC games. That is not the mark of an NCAA team, which is why it is so important for the Rebs to win, then beat up on the weak West division to finish strong. 

Florida's victory over Auburn was not that good. But when you make 32 of 40 free throws and your bench makes 6-9 from the field, it looks a little better. Florida can continue to rely on Chandler Parsons (seven double digit scoring games in SEC play), and UF will have to accept Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker as streaky shooters. But, they need the bench scoring from Dan Werner and Erik Murphy. Alex Tyus will get his points, but Werner and Murphy can support Vernon Macklin. Macklin needs a lot of minutes to get his points and foul trouble has taken him out of every big game this season. 

Ole Miss does not have the bigs that UK or Vandy have, but they have big guards; 6-foot-5s Eniel Ploynice and Terrico White. With guard Chris Warren, the overwhelming majority of the Rebs' offense comes from the backcourt. Each of them has gotten their points during Ole Miss' skid, but taken a lot of shots to get there. If Ole Miss starts scoring in bunches, Florida will struggle because they cannot match the Rebs.

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