It was crazy for anyone to think Florida could run the table in the Southeastern Conference. As good as the Gators are, they aren’t invincible. No team is in this era of college basketball.
So while some will be consumed by shock after the Gators got the green kicked out of them in an 80-69 loss to Arkansas Tuesday night, the loss doesn’t surprise me at all. The Gators were due to lose a conference game at some point and being on the road made them much more vulnerable to a loss. The Razorbacks led by as many as 23 and survived the Gators’ last-ditch effort to rally for a win.
Florida’s 10-game win streak is history. It’s perfect SEC record is a thing of the past. It’s hopes of rising to No. 1 next week have been crushed. Much of the credit goes to Arkansas, who, with the win, conjured up memories of their 40 minutes of hell days from the early 1990s.
The Razorbacks, behind a balanced offensive attack that featured three players in double figures and a defense that was relentless from start to finish, were ready for the challenge, earning their first win over a top 10 team since the 2008-09 season. But no one should be too concerned about Florida. One loss isn’t going to doom the Gators.
They are still a talented basketball team. They still have one of the best coaches in the business in Billy Donovan and they still have the ability and experience to make a run for the national championship. It just wasn’t their night on Tuesday.
The Gators were beaten not because they are a bad team, but because life is tough on the road and the Razorbacks played their best game of the season.
Brian Lester is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.