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Florida men’s basketball postpones third straight game due to Texas A&M COVID-19 issues

Florida might have been ready to go on Saturday — but its foe won’t be.

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Florida’s men’s basketball team will have a third straight game postponed due to COVID-19, now missing this Saturday’s scheduled meeting with Texas A&M d, the program announced Thursday morning.

Florida was set to meet the Aggies on Saturday afternoon, but the game has been called off “due to a combination of positive tests, contact tracing and subsequent quarantining of individuals within the Texas A&M basketball program,” the SEC’s opaque phrasing for COVID-19 issues.

This makes a third consecutive scheduled the game that the Gators will not play. Previously, the Gators had games against LSU and Tennessee, good teams that could have provided bolstering wins for Florida’s NCAA Tournament resume, postponed last Saturday and on Wednesday due to issues within its own program.

There’s little question that this interlude has significantly interrupted the Gators’ season. The three-game stretch of postponements comes on the heels of a surprising loss to South Carolina that halted a four-game win streak for Florida that included wins over Tennessee and West Virginia, and cost the Gators chances to return to form against quality outfits.

Losing a chance to play Texas A&M — second to last in the SEC at 2-6 in conference play, and a woeful road team that has won away from College Station just twice in 2020-21 — is not as damaging for Florida as losing a chance to get a good win. But if Saturday’s game being cancelled for reasons related to Texas A&M implies that Florida would have been ready to play, then it does cost them a chance to ease back into playing before possibly their toughest remaining game, a trip to Arkansas scheduled for Tuesday, February 16.

KenPom gives the Gators just a 41 percent chance of upsetting the Hogs — not just their lowest remaining win probability for any scheduled game, but the only win probability under 50 percent for the backstretch of SEC play. As things currently stand, if and when Florida arrives in Fayetteville, it will be nearly two weeks since the Gators last played.