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Florida vs. LSU, Game Thread: A contest of who can act like they care less?

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The Gators and Tigers have both been listless of late. For Florida, that's damaging NCAA Tournament hopes.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

As is contractually obligated for any preview of a game involving LSU's men's basketball team in 2016, like the Tigers' meeting with Florida at 8:30 p.m. (ESPN or WatchESPN): Ben Simmons, Ben Simmons, Ben Simmons! Ben Simmons, Ben Simmons, Ben Simmons! Ben Simmons, Ben Simmons, Ben Simmons! Ben Simmons, Ben Simmons, Simmons!

Whew.

Apart from Simmons, whose brilliance hasn't been enough to rescue LSU from another disappointing season under Johnny Jones, and simple partisanship, it's hard to see a great reason to be intrigued by this SEC matchup. Florida has lost two straight and three of its last four, and is slipping from the right side of the bubble to the soft part of it, thanks to the maddening inconsistency of its offense and defense seemingly alternating appearances.

LSU has somehow been worse, though: The Tigers have lost three straight and four of their last five after rising to the top of the conference, and lax isn't the word for the Tigers' defense, which has yielded at least 1.07 points per possession in each of the last six games, and at least 1.13 in three of them. The losses have gotten uglier and uglier, with Tennessee and Arkansas treating the Tigers to road beatdowns by 16 and 20 points.

The Pete Maravich Assembly Center hasn't been all that much kinder to LSU than the road of late: Alabama beat the Tigers in their last game in Baton Rouge.

But LSU is 12-2 at home.

But while there's precedent for LSU getting up for big home games — see a beatdown of Kentucky and a close loss to Oklahoma — it's hard to see a team that has looked dead on its feet of late suddenly playing inspired ball against these Gators, hardly a headlining foe this season.

But Florida's only road wins this year came at Navy, Mississippi, and Georgia, none of which have a talent approximating even Antonio Blakeney, much less Simmons.

But LSU's talent hasn't been worth that much.

But neither has Florida's.

But Florida has something on the line, and is still in line to make the NCAA Tournament.

But that didn't really help the Gators on Tuesday against Vanderbilt.

I have to write about this game. You don't have to watch it, and I won't blame you for doing other things with your Saturday night.

Uh, go Gators?