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Florida: 18-14, NET: 32, KP: 29, SOS: 42, NCSOS: 135, 3-11 vs. Q1, 4-1 vs. Q2, 11-2 vs. Q3/Q4
Team P: 18-14, NET: 70, KP: 64, SOS: 51, NCSOS: 165, 4-8 vs. Q1, 5-4 vs. Q2, 9-2 vs. Q3/Q4
Team Q: 19-13, NET: 82, KP: 86, SOS: 81, NCSOS: 249, 5-6 vs. Q1, 6-5 vs. Q2, 8-2 vs. Q3/Q4
Note: Florida upset LSU in the SEC quarterfinals on Friday and likely punched its ticket to the Big Dance. However, we’re leaving this comparison in here with numbers and records from Friday morning so you can get a sense of how badly the Gators needed that win and how close Team P is to the at-large conversation.
Let’s not even try to hide the main identity this time: Florida is the story here.
The Gators have three Quadrant 1 wins, but the overtime game at LSU is the only one worth bragging about. (Road wins over Alabama and Arkansas were nice, but they don’t move the needle.) Aside from that, this resume is primarily missed opportunities. They entered Friday’s game against LSU with a 1-9 record against the NET top 20, and they suffered unideal home losses against South Carolina and Georgia.
Somehow, though, the metrics have adored this team all season long.
That’s nothing new from one of the metrics. In 2014-15, Florida went 16-17 and still finished 34th on KenPom. This year, the Gators were given a lot of credit for their 32-point win over North Florida, 34-point win over Butler and 18-point win at Alabama. They were already a top-40 team before each of those games, and they jumped at least six more spots in the rankings after each of those blowouts.
But it appears the NET is drinking the Gator-ade, too, as its ranking is nearly identical on both lists.
What if the committee focuses more on quadrant results than NET rankings, though? Both Team P and Team Q were better than Florida in marquee games. Florida went 7-12 against the top two quadrants. Team P is 9-12 while Team Q is 11-11.
It’s just too bad Xavier (Team P) and Georgetown (Team Q) suffered blowout losses about as often as they got blowout wins. Entering Friday, the year-to-date scoring margins were +1.4 for Xavier, +1.6 for Georgetown and +4.9 for Florida. Evidently, that’s enough for Florida to rank 40-50 spots higher in the NET.
I don’t believe Xavier or Georgetown belongs in the tournament, but there’s clearly an argument to be made that Florida doesn’t belong, either.
Kerry Miller covers men’s college basketball and college football for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter: @kerrancejames.