Bubble Watch: Florida Gators basketball a long shot for 2016 NCAA Tournament

By Adam Silverstein
March 9, 2016

By Jake Sillick – OnlyGators.com bracketologist

Florida Gators basketball, following its disastrous end to the regular season, is presently out of the projected 2016 NCAA Tournament field. Let’s take a look at how its numbers stack up now as Florida prepares for a last-ditch effort in the 2016 SEC Tournament beginning on Thursday.

RPI: 55 | Nonconference RPI: 29 | SOS: 12 (+) | Nonconference SOS: 4 (+)

Road: 4-8 (-) | Neutral sites: 2-1 | Combined: 6-9 (-)

vs. Top 25: 1-6 (-) | vs. Top 50: 2-8 (-) | vs. Top 100: 7-12 (-)

Best wins road: No. 72 Georgia (-) | Neutral site: No. 33 Saint Joseph’s (+) | Home: No. 10 West Virginia (+)

Worst losses road: No. 150 Tennessee (-) | Neutral: No. 16 Purdue | Home: No. 69 Florida State

KenPom: 44 | O-rating: 84 (-) | D-rating: 24 (+) | Sagarin Composite: 38

The Gators avoided a resume-killing loss at Missouri to close the regular season and received the eight seed in the SEC Tournament. The poor record against the tough schedule Florida’s faced will keep it on the outside looking in on Selection Sunday without some resume-building wins. Even if UF does get those wins and earns a bid, a play-in game in the First Four would be the expectation if it makes it all the way to March Madness. Bettingsports will be covering all aspects of UF’s progress.

Here is where the Gators check in according to various bracketologists: Jerry Palm (CBS Sports): First four out, Joe Lunardi (ESPN): First four out, Shelby Mast (USA Today): First four out, Brad Evans (Yahoo! Sports): First eight out

Opportunities remaining (RPI): vs. Arkansas (120), vs. Texas A&M (22) if W vs. Arkansas

The Razorbacks would not qualify as a resume building win, but if the Gators can win that game and upset Texas A&M, that would go a long way for the selection committee to legitimately consider Florida as part of the field of 68.

Should the Gators advance even further, they would want to avoid LSU (90) as that is not as big of a resume win as Vanderbilt (49). If Florida somehow makes it all the way to Sunday, there is a good chance it avoids the “First Four” and makes the main field, even with a loss. The committee generally decides the field before Sunday.

A loss against Arkansas on Thursday or maybe even against Texas A&M on Friday could leave UF in the NIT. As OnlyGators.com previously reported, the Gators would be unable to host NIT games due to renovations to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, though Florida would accept a bid to the tournament.

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