That has been the running debate me and some of my buddies have been having over the last week.
Don't laugh at what I'm about to say:
I think the Gators would actually stand a chance against the Magic. Not a great chance. Not even a good chance. But a chance.
I'm not talking about a best-of-7 NBA playoff series but a one-and-done NCAA Tournament format. I'm thinking it would be sort of like a No. 13 seed facing a No. 4 seed in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament. I would give the Gators about a 20-25 percent chance of winning the game.
The Gators are a veteran, experienced, talented college team. The Magic, at least in their current banged-up state, are a young, inexperienced NBA team. And unlike football, where most experts agree a college team simply wouldn't have the talent or strength to match up with an NFL team, it's different in basketball. In basketball, one or two players can make a difference between winning and losing. In basketball, the physical strength and maturity level between an experienced college team and inexperienced NBA team is not much different.
The Gators would also have a huge coaching edge. Florida coach Billy Donovan is a living legend and might be the greatest college coach -- football or basketball -- in this state's history. Jacque Vaughn is an unproven first-year NBA coach who may someday turn into a really good coach, but we don't know that for sure.
The Magic in their current state -- with Glen "Big Baby" Davis out for the season and other key players nursing injuries, are not very deep or talented. In fact, we don't even know if some of the Magic's young players -- Mo Harkless, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O'Quinn, etc. -- develop into legitimate NBA players. We hope they do, but we don't KNOW if they will. Likewise, some of Florida's players -- Erik Murphy, Patric Young, Kenny Boynton, might surprise the experts and turn into really good NBA players.
In a one-and-done format, I give the Gators a puncher's chance of beating the Magic.
How about you?
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