Team of the Day: Florida
21-8 (8-7 SEC East)
Computer numbers (courtesy of kenpom.com): RPI 61, SOS 87
Unless the Gators make a run through next week's SEC Tournament, we're essentially guaranteed a new national champion at the end of the season (not like I thought they'd have a chance to win a third straight crown if they were safely in). The latest defeat, just their ninth (a deceptive number given their strength of schedule), was an 89-86 loss at the hands of #4 Tennessee. While going into Lexington and defeating Kentucky on Sunday would help their cause, they have only one big win to their credit (Vandy at home)on a schedule featuring a non-conference slate put together by Billy Donovan to build confidence among his young squad. The drawback to that strategy is that late in the year you find yourself in tough must-win situations that could derail any hope of making a run should you lose. Exactly the result on Wednesday night.
On the clock: St. Joseph's. In the midst of a bubble in which few teams have separated themselve from the pack, the Hawks get a chance at home to bolster their resume when Xavier comes to Philly. A win gets them in the thick of the at-large discussion, while a loss could be the final nail in the coffin.