For much of Tuesday's game, Florida stuck with LSU. But, like every game this season against a legitimate opponent, the Gators could not maintain their pace and lost in Baton Rouge 81-75. Florida (21-7, 8-5) is now 2-5 in conference road games and has not defeated a ranked team on the road since Kentucky in 2007.
LSU (24-4, 12-1) clearly was the better team going in, but Florida's inability to slow Marcus Thornton (32 pts, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) and the rest of LSU's offense was inexcusable. I say the rest of LSU's offense, but it was really just three guys. Thornton, Tasmin Mitchell (12 pts) and Garrett Temple (21 pts) accounted for all but 16 of the Tigers' output. If Florida cannot stop three guys with five defenders, what hope is there for the remaining three games?
The Gators had balance with Walt Hodge (16 pts), Alex Tyus (15 pts), Chandler Parsons (12 pts) and Nick Calathes (12 pts) all in double figures. Calathes, who was 4-11 shooting, had 7 boards and 6 assists on what was considered an off night for him.
UF is now looking down the barrel of an NIT bid. A team only gets so many chances and now the Gators are in serious jeopardy of missing a bye in the SEC Tournament. The Gators have an oppertunity to play the SEC Tournament essentially at a home court, as the tournament is in Tampa. But it seems as if the Gators do not or cannot understand the sense of urgency needed right now.