South Carolina lays a trap and Florida Basketball falls for it

The Gamecocks had eight steals against the Gators

Florida Gators head coach Todd Golden coaches form the sideline during the first half. The Florida
Florida Gators head coach Todd Golden coaches form the sideline during the first half. The Florida / Doug Engle/Ocala Star Banner / USA TODAY
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Heading into Columbia, most knew it was going to be a tough matchup for Florida Basketball. The Gators have shown all season that they can hang with almost anyone, but they have also shown that almost anyone will be able to hang with them.

And as once again the Gators took a lead only to give it away, it was the semantics of how it happened this time around that led to a frustrating loss for Todd Golden and crew.

Florida Basketball: Wanna Play A Game?

Coming into the game, we highlighted in our keys to the game that South Carolina was not the type of team that was going to force a ton of turnovers. The Gamecocks were 332nd in the country at steals per possession, normally creating a steal on just 7% of opponent possessions.

Eight steal later against the Gators and South Carolina stole the ball on 11.8% of Florida possessions, a rate that would be 24th best in the country if it was their season long average.

Six of the eight steals came in the second half as South Carolina switched to a 1-3-1 zone that Florida simply couldn't figure out how to attack. Florida had a 10 point lead with 12:29 left in the game, and while there was some questionable officiating that Golden questioned after the game, the fact that Florida blew yet another double digit second half lead isn't anything new for this team.

The Gators are set up to be the ultimate agent of chaos for brackets come March Madness. They are the type of team that could make a genuine run to the Final Four if all the chips fall correctly.

They are also the type of team prone to get bounced in the first round.

The Gators still should be safe to make the NCAA Tournament as long as they avoid an upset next Saturday against Vanderbilt and/or can knock off Alabama at home on Tuesday for Senior Night.