Another blown lead for Florida Basketball leaves sour taste ahead of SEC Tournament

The Gators were up by eight with six minutes to play but couldn't seal the deal

Mar 9, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Florida Gators head coach Todd Golden questions a call by
Mar 9, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Florida Gators head coach Todd Golden questions a call by / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
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"They love me, they love me not. They love me, They love me not." Todd Golden has to feel like Florida Basketball basketball fans have been playing with a rose petal all season long as the mood around the Gators seems to shift game by game.

Right now the rose petal has fallen on "They love me not" as Florida blew another late lead and couldn't seal the deal against lowly Vanderbilt, falling 79-79.

The loss doesn't affect Florida much for the upcoming SEC Tournament, but will probably cost the Gators a seed line or two for the NCAA Tournament.

Florida Basketball: Roller Coaster

537. Final. 78. 526. Score. 79

All season long the Achilles heel for Florida has been its inability to close out leads in the second half. On Tuesday, they seemed to have defeated that demon in their thrashing of Alabama.

Nope, turns out the demon was just temporarily suppressed.

Florida had a seven point halftime lead that was gone five minutes into the second half. It stayed close for a while, but with six minutes it seemed like the Gators were going to pull away for good when Zyon Pullin made a layup to put the Gators up by eight.

Four minutes later that too was gone.

And even with 25 seconds left, Florida was up by three when Vanderbilt missed a shot that looked like it was going to allow the Gators to survive.

Except the refs bit a flop and called Tyrese Samuel for a foul on the rebound attempt.

Back to back turnovers by Walter Clayton sealed the fate of Florida and the collapse for finalized.

We said after the win over Alabama that Florida would be the agent of chaos in the NCAA Tournament, and that narrative still holds. This squad is almost 100% certain to do something that winds up in the One Shining Moment montage at the end of the tournament.

The Gators will be the six seed in the SEC Tournament with a bracket that actually lines up decent to make a deep run.

But after being discussed as a potential six or five seed for the NCAA Tournament, this loss will almost for sure knock Florida down to a seven or eight seed, making the pathway to the Sweet 16 much harder.

Sometimes with this squad we love them.

On night's like last night we love them not.