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Gator Basketball vs. Vanderbilt

The last bucket will win today as the first (Vandy 84.9) and fourth (UF 80.8) offenses in the SEC meet in the University City. This little trick the Gators have where they play only 30 minutes a game, yet manage to be 4-1 in conference, cannot continue. Florida is much better in scoring defense (63.8 to Vandy's 12th place 75.9), but slightly better in field goal defense (.425 to .432, I hate when stats don't match).

In the Ole Miss game, I said the Gators needed to play at the 3-point line and that nearly rallied them to a win. Today, they will have to do the same thing because Vandy is first in 3-point percentage (.424). Leading the charge from the arc are Shan Foster (hitting .481 of 3's) and Alex Gordon (.427). With guys at first and third in the league, Vandy is the only team with two in the 3-point field goal percentage top-10. If the Gators get behind quickly, it'll be due to those guys.

For the past few years, this game has been important because of our lofty place in the league and our desire to win the SEC regular season. This year though, we're brought back to earth and remember what it's like to be a middle-division team. Defeating Vandy keeps them below the water line and puts UF a half game ahead of Tennessee for the East lead. Plus, it'll be a quality opponent and the last time the Gators played one of those teams at home was in November vs. FSU. Florida needs to start collecting wins and know that in a weakened SEC, anything is possible.

Here' is the Raycom Sports affiliate list for today's game. On another note, here's a very good article from the St. Pete Times with Dick Vitale and his recovery.