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Saturday, February 27, 2010
Live from Athens, Ga.: Gators go down

By By Mark Schlabach

If Florida misses the NCAA tournament for the third season in a row, the Gators can once again blame nobody but themselves.

Four days after upsetting Tennessee at home, the Gators lost to Georgia 78-76 at Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday. With an RPI rating of No. 45, it was a defeat the Gators really couldn't afford this late in the season.

To receive an NCAA at-large bid, the Gators might now have to win at least one of their last two regular-season games -- home against Vanderbilt on Tuesday or at Kentucky on March 7 -- and win at least a couple of games in the SEC tournament in Nashville.

Florida fought back from a 15-point deficit in the second half and had a chance to tie the game or take the lead at the end. After Georgia turned the ball over on a shot-clock violation in the final seconds, the Gators never got off a shot, either.

Chandler Parsons passed the ball to Dan Werner, who was wide-open behind the 3-point line. But instead of taking the shot, Werner tried to pass the ball to Vernon Macklin, who was under the basket. Georgia's Albert Jackson batted Werner's pass into the stands, giving Florida the ball back with only one-tenth of a second to go.