The axiom in college basketball is to get to March you first have to get through February.
Poet T.S. Eliot once wrote that April is the cruelest month. But February has been no picnic for Florida Gator basketball fans.
Since 2005-06, Florida has been a pedestrian 16-16 in February games. As a result, the Gators are on the verge of missing the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season.
Florida has had just one winning February (2006-07) since the 2005-06 season. A look at the recent results:
- 2005-06 — 3-4
- 2006-07 — 5-3
- 2007-08 — 3-4
- 2008-09 — 3-3
- 2009-10 — 2-2
Fatigue and scheduling are the two issues Florida coach Billy Donovan cited when asked about the topic last week.
“Because of the success we have had in the past, generally as our conference schedule goes, it really, really has always been back-heavy with clearly the best teams in the league in a lot of respects,” Donovan said. “We still have to play Vandy again, we still have to play Kentucky again, we still have to go on the road at Ole Miss .
“That’s a great thing for me because when you are talking about the stretch run and you are talking about the things you are talking about you would rather play against the best, and when are playing against a best to me that’s a way you earn your way in. To me it’s pretty clear cut and dry, if you don’t win some of those games, you are not going to deserve to get in and if you do win those games, then you put yourself in the conversation as a team that can maybe get in. So I think our schedule has been a positive thing for us coming down the stretch but now it’s can we find a way to win some of those games.”