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Gator Basketball vs. Tennessee

In the last three seasons, this has been happening too much.

Student seats are available for tonight's men's basketball game versus 17th-ranked Tennessee. UF students who were not able to register for the game may line up in the secondary line at Gate 3 and gain admission, which is free.

I have no grounds to talk, as I have not attended a game in Gainesville this season. However, I was a student for only the 2006 championship, so I saw three years of heartbreaking basketball. Those three years, not every game was a sellout and Florida was a lot better. But, you had to murder someone or beat the online lottery to get a student seat. Especially for a rivalry game.

Tonight against Tennessee, Florida (19-8, 8-4 SEC) can begin the restoration of Florida Basketball against a team that has won eight of their last nine in the series. Tennessee (20-6, 8-4) is not just a torn in the side, but a good ol' boy with a banjo and spitting tobacco juice at Florida.

Defeating the Vols will boost the Gators' NCAA chances and give Vanderbilt a run for second place in the SEC East. That would give the Gators a bye in the SEC Tournament first round and probably lock up an NCAA bid. Defeating the Vols will also give the Gators a sense of confidence that has been lacking for much of this season.

As confident as Chandler Parsons has been, everyone else has struggled. Erving Walker short-arms shots and Kenny Boynton will chuck instead of driving to the hoop. Alex Tyus can't bang on defense and if Vernon Macklin still played in the mighty Big East, he would be getting his ass kicked every night. Florida has won on team defense and talent. When they play a more talented team, or a team they think has less talent (likely NCAA team Richmond), they lose.

For Florida to win tonight, they have to make free throws by forcing the issue and driving to the hoop. (UT also leads the league in 3-point percentage defense, so no chucking tonight.) UF also has to protect the ball, as the Vols have forced the most turnovers in the SEC.

One more thing; for three seasons we've been looking for this team to have a pulse in big games. Hopefully, it finally comes tonight.