ATHENS, Ga. -- Florida and Georgia just tipped off at Stegeman Coliseum, and if the Gators looked a little tight early, here's why: they can't lose.
Florida's first three shots didn't even hit the rim (one was blocked and two were air balls), before Chandler Parsons made a 3-pointer to give the Gators an early 3-2 lead.
With games left against SEC East heavyweights Vanderbilt and Kentucky, the Gators have absolutely no room for error against the Bulldogs. Georgia struggled in coach Mark Fox's first season, but the Dogs have been tough to beat at home. UGA already upset Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech in Stegeman Coliseum.
While it won't have the buildup of these schools' annual football game in Jacksonville, Fla., it will have an impact on Florida's chances for an NCAA at-large bid.
Florida comes into the game with an RPI rating of No. 45. The Gators already won 20 games, but they're only 1-6 against RPI top-25 foes and 3-6 against the top 50. UF's 75-62 upset of Tennessee on Tuesday night gave it some breathing room. But a loss at Georgia would put the Gators right back on the NCAA bubble.