If the Commodores want second place in the East and the accompanying bye in the SEC Tournament, they absolutely have to beat Florida today in Nashville. If Georgia can beat Alabama today in the 12.47 SEC Network game and Vanderbilt can beat Florida, the Kentucky-Tennessee game is irrelevant. Florida can guarantee itself the SEC Regular Season Championship with a win versus the Commodores today, though a Georgia win over Alabama will guarantee them a the Championship regardless of the outcome in today's game in Nashville. So if we can find common ground with Gator fans today, it's cheering for the Bulldogs. [UPDATE: Crap. Now we have to pull for Tennessee]
Florida won the matchup in OT in Gainesville earlier this season, in a game many Commodore fans remember for a no-call on a Jenkins three point attempt in overtime that Kenny Boynton admitted afterward indeed was a foul. Payback certainly has to be on the Commodores minds.
Senior Night: Joe Duffy and Chris Meriwether play their final games in Memorial Gym tonight. We've all gotten to know The Microwave through his humorous posts at the NY Times "Quad" blog. But I've met Chris Meriwether a couple times, and he is an outstanding young man that is the embodiment of the ideal student-athlete. Both make me proud to have been a Commodore. Thanks Joe and Chris for the memories!
According to Kenpom, Florida will be the sixth best offensive and tenth best defensive team that the Commodores will have played. Vanderbilt will be the fourth best offensive and eleventh best defensive team that the Gators will have played. Vanderbilt is slightly better offensively, and Florida is slightly better defensively.
Based on the tempo-free statistics above, Vanderbilt has a pretty solid edge at the starting positions, and a slight edge at the bench. Keep in mind that these numbers are not adjusted for the quality of opponent, though Vanderbilt has played a slightly more difficult schedule.
Four Factors: Vanderbilt is the better FTRate and eFG% team. Florida is the better TO% and OReb% team. Prediction: Not deviating from the historical record today. Vanderbilt controls eFG% and FTRate. Florida controls OReb% and TO%.
Traditional Statistics -
Tipoff is scheduled for 1700 CT and the game will be televised by ESPN (Comcast ch. 11 or 202 HD), though the game will also be available on ESPN3.com. Our open gamethread will go live about an hour before tipoff. Also, don't forget to head over to Stat-King to submit your predictions for the game.
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