The fate of the Florida Gators basketball team is now in the hands of the NCAA tournament committee.
Despite shooting better than 60% from the floor and outrebounding Auburn by 15 boards, Florida took the 65-62 loss, largely due to 19 turnovers. The Tigers converted those turnovers into 20 points on the other end.
Even with the lopsided turnover margin (Auburn only turned the ball over four times), Florida had a shot at the end of the game.
Auburn’s Jared Harper made 1-2 from the line that put the Tigers up three. Keyontae Johnson grabbed the rebound and found Andrew Nembhard across the timeline. As Nembhard went up for a last second trey, three Auburn players converged for what appeared to be an intentional foul. Somehow the official standing right in front of the play missed at least two of those Tigers players grabbing Nembhard as he went up for the shot.
Instead the ball never reached the net and the game clock expired as an irate Mike White barked at the official who missed the call.
What gets lost here is that Florida shouldn’t have been in this position. The Gators shot 70% in the first half and should have owned a much larger lead than they did at 34-30. The Gators just couldn’t stop turning the ball over.
The turnover margin created a huge disparity in the field goal attempts as well. Florida attempted only 38 shots while Auburn chucked up 56.
- Kevarrius Hayes had one of his finest games in the orange and blue finishing with 16 points and 12 board but also contributed five turnovers.
- Jalen Hudson also added 16 points and did so on 5-6 shooting and 4-5 from the charity stripe.
- Florida shot 70% in the first half and followed that up with 50% in the second half.
- The Gators made 10-12 from the free throw line while Auburn only attempted 5 free throws (making two).
Florida will learn their fate in the NCAA selection show on Sunday.
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