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Florida vs. Vanderbilt, Game Thread: Gators may need own magic at Memorial

Vanderbilt poses an imposing threat to Florida sans Colin Castleton.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Florida Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Florida and Vanderbilt met just two weeks ago, with the Gators’ loss to the Commodores thought to be the death blow to their NCAA Tournament hopes.

Vandy hosts the Gators this Saturday having bumped itself off the bubble more recently.

The Commodores had faint NCAA Tournament chances coming into this week, then promptly lost at SEC last-placer LSU, essentially knocking themselves out of at-large contention. And while that may not mean a lot for this game, it does mean that neither team is playing with realistic tourney hopes — something that could make for wackiness.

For Vandy, that might mean having Liam Robbins do even more than he did in a 32-point, 10-rebound evisceration of Florida in which Colin Castleton could do very little to stop the talented seven-footer. For Florida, it should mean more touches and tries for the surging Riley Kugel and hopefully more opportunity for players to continue stepping up in Castleton’s stead.

This being a Florida-Vandy game played at Memorial Gym, chaos might be the minimum.