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Chomping At Bits: Is Florida On The 2012 NCAA Tournament Bubble?

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Apparently, Florida's a bubble team, sort of: Okay, so USA TODAY has a new bubble tracker out that charts teams that are "in position for a bid" or "battling for the Big Dance" or "on the bubble," and the Gators, 17-4 with losses on the road to two teams that have held the No. 1 and No. 2 rankings this year and wins over three top-50 RPI teams, are in the "battling for the Big Dance" section, while Alabama (14-7, 1-4 in its last five) and Vanderbilt (16-5, with home losses to Cleveland State and Indiana State) are "in position for a bid."

The graphic explains that Florida is "in line for a spot in the field," but notes as weaknesses that Florida's worst loss was to Tennessee, and that the Gators' non-conference strength of schedule is only 94th despite games against Ohio State, Syracuse, and Texas A&M away from home and games with Florida State, Arizona, and Yale at home. This defies any sort of rational analysis, I think, and though it doesn't matter even one whit — Florida's RPI is 15, and no top-20 RPI team has ever missed the NCAA Tournament, apparently — it really made me mad.

I would throw in a gratuitous crack about Gannett's new deal with Big Lead Sports if I thought any of you cared (disclosure none of you could possibly care about: I worked as an unpaid writer for Gannett's first-ever paper, the FLORIDA TODAY, many years ago), but I like Nicole Auerbach, who apparently wrote this piece. I just think she's wrong. (Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY)

Kenny Boynton, mellowing: Billy Donovan saying that Boynton might have been upset after scoring just two points in years past is telling, but no one questioning whether that will carry over for him is promising. (GatorZone)

Florida recruiting "prop bets": They really aren't prop bets, per se, but here are some chances that Florida targets become Gators this week. (Daniel Thompson, Bourbon Meyer)

Florida women fall: Losing games like Sunday's against Arkansas will keep these Gators out of the NCAA Tournament, you watch. (GatorZone)

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