Is the Sky Falling?

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Florida has hit a spell that most major Division I college basketball teams face in late February when fatigue sets in and teams around the league play the second time around. Time to panic? Not yet, but Florida must first get off to better starts in games. The Gators have trailed by double-figures in the first half in three of their last four games. You can get away playing uphill at home, when the Gators overcame an 18-point deficit in the first half against Alabama by getting the Tide’s frontline in foul trouble. On the road, with whistles working against you, it’s more difficult. The Gators are slumping from the perimeter, which has allowed defenses to collapse inside on Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Chris Richard. The poor shooting is affecting the defense because teams are getting long rebounds and open looks in transition. Florida must find a way to bring more intensity on defense when shots aren’t falling. Otherwise, it will be a short March instead of a lone one.