Written by James Brown, Co-Founder of Gatorsfirst.com
With less than 30 seconds left in the game, and the Florida Gators down by 2, Chandler Parsons hit a three-pointer. When Bruce Pearl called a timeout after the ensuing in-bounds pass, CBS was able to run the montage they'd prepared for just such an opportunity. Parsons had previously hit a buzzer-beating 70-ish foot, game-winner at NC State , and a buzzer-beating, 20-foot game-winner at home against South Carolina .
As soon as the montage aired, I knew we were doomed. I can't imagine any good coming out of a network comparing a shot that gave our team a 1-point lead- with time remaining and Bruce Pearl having timeouts, no less- to a couple of "real" game-winners.
Just what I feared happened, as Scotty Hopson hit a jumper to give the Vols the lead for good, and the Tennessee Volunteers defeated the Florida Gators 61-60.
We Gator fans are different than Tennessee football fans. There are no "moral victories". This loss sucked.
In a one-point game, there are so many places to point the finger and place the blame. And any other sports cliches you can think of. This game was no exception, as you could point to the way the last possession went, the way we seemed to think halftime was coming earlier and let our 10-point lead get down to 6 (and it could have been worse) before the first half ended, countless turnovers, dumb shots, and missed free throws (by C.F.P. himself, for one)...
Instead of getting into all that, I'm more interested to see how the team responds by going on the road again to Tuscaloosa Thursday night. We are really in the middle of the physical grind of the SEC basketball schedule, and the Alabama Crimson Tide will not be an easy match at home in a nationally-televised game (ESPNU, 7 ET). The game also is a matchup with another former Billy Donovan assistant, Anthony Grant. You might also remember him being the pick to replace Billy D as Florida's head coach during the turmoil surrounding his "departure" for the Orlando Magic.
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