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No. 1 Florida 79, LSU Tigers 61: No Gator Aid

It was a beatdown in every way, the latest blow in a SEC season full of disappointment for LSU.

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

There were no positives here.

In a must-win game for NCAA at-large hopes and facing the No. 1 team in the land, the Tigers laid an egg. It was their first true blowout of the season. And while there's no shame in losing to a really good Florida team, the how and why remain troubling and even embarrassing as Johnny Jones' second campaign winds down.

For a team that arguably hasn't been blown out all year, this Florida team should not be the one to do it. The Gators just played five straight games that came down to the final minutes, including close calls against Auburn and Vanderbilt. Yes, Florida shot out of its mind from 3-point range, but this is not some coincidence or the fates spiting LSU.

The Tigers don't rotate well, they don't close out with urgency and there's almost no defensive gameplan to speak of. The stats bear it out. After UF's 13 treys, LSU is last in the SEC in 3-point field goal defense, as SEC foes have shot 111-of-277 from deep for a 40.1% mark. That's nearly three percent higher than Auburn, No. 13 in the statistic. With the athleticism and glut of supposedly high-motor players in LSU's rotation, that's pathetic.

The game itself was over really when it started. Florida burst to an 8-0 lead, kept on the gas to a 32-14 advantage and cruised from there, out-hustling and bludgeoning LSU - which theoretically had more to play for - into basketball oblivion. The Tigers talked like they knew the stakes of this game. Their play never reflected it.

Really, that's the story for this season of LSU basketball. Only Jordan Mickey has outperformed his hype among the newcomers, Johnny O'Bryant III hasn't stayed out of his own way enough and the defense has been nonexistent. For a team ostensibly on the rise and everyone saying the right things about building a big-time program, LSU hasn't walked the walk this year. The sum has consistently been smaller than the parts this season, taking the Tigers from a team on the verge of the top 25 in December and early February to a low NIT seed.

There's no excuse for this LSU team to get blown out by anyone in this year's SEC, not even Florida, and not with three potential NBA players at forward and experience in the backcourt.

The Johnny Jones experience was an unmitigated success in Year 1.

Year 2 has been an unmitigated disaster.