Preview: Vanderbilt-Florida

Eric AdamsContributor IJanuary 8, 2010

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 12:  A.J. Ogilvy #4 of the Vanderbilt Commodores makes a shot over Yamene Coleman #34 of the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first round of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament on March 12, 2009 at The St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images


Hope all is going well today. It's way too cold in Nashville, and I'm not looking forward to the early start time tomorrow against Florida. I always park for free near the Parthenon. Free is good, but walking to Memorial at 10:30 a.m. in about 10 degree weather....not so good.

To top it off, my beloved and tortured Bengals have a rare playoff appearance tomorrow. I would love to stay at home and soak in all the pregame commentary. So why in the world am I braving the elements to watch Vanderbilt play their league opener?

Simple.

Tomorrow is the single most important game that Vanderbilt will play all season.

Yesterday, I broke down where I thought Vanderbilt could easily win nine games in the SEC. A lot of that hinges on the Commodores being able to split the season series with the Gators. A loss to Wild Bill would kill the momentum gained from the 'Dores current five-game win streak.

There are two phenomenal previews of the game that you should read:

Anchor of Gold
Vanderbilt Sports Line

I promise I'll have in-depth analysis of the Vandy's other SEC opponents. For some reason I can't do it for this game. Every time I think about tomorrow's game, I see the following situation unfold:

Florida 11-2 run to start the game.

Vandy closes gap at halftime to 41-36.

Florida opens second half with 7-0 to make the score 48-36.

Vandy rallies, but too little, too late: 79-74.

I have this horrendous feeling about the game. I have felt this way two times before this season: The Maui Invitational opener against Cincinnati, and the road game against the Illini.

In both games, Vandy had a chance to make a statement to the nation. They had a really great opportunity to grab the attention of all the major media outlets. In each game, the 'Dores had the ability to add a showcase win to their NCAA resume. Both times they failed.

Let's hope the weather doesn't turn Memorial into a ghost town. The team needs all the help they can get.

Let's just say if Vandy and the Bengals lose, my post-game recap will be nasty.
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