Where Florida stands on ESPN’s Basketball Power Index ahead of conference play

As conference play begins for the Florida Gators men’s basketball team, the Gators sit a bit higher on ESPN’s Basketball Power Index than many might expect. The Gators are No. 39 on the BPI rankings and will challenge Auburn, the No. 21 ranked team, Wednesday night.

Florida actually moved up a spot since the last update, meaning the nine-point loss suffered to Oklahoma last Tuesday actually helped Florida’s case. Interestingly, the Sooners moved down a spot to sit right above Florida at No. 38.

A closer look at the offensive and defensive BPI shows that Florida is a relatively balanced team. A 4.4 offensive grade and 4.0 defensive grade are both consistent with Florida’s overall rankings, whereas some teams are strong in one area and not the other.

“BPI is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of performance going forward,” according to ESPN. That means Florida is roughly eight points above average, which matches up with the team consistenly beating teams ranked lower than them.

With SEC play beginning, Florida has a chance to prove itself against higher-ranked teams. Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi State are all ranked ahead of Florida on the BPI and have significantly better records.

After Florida clashes with Aubrun on Wednesday, the Gators face Texas A&M, Georgia and LSU. Getting wins over those programs may not boost Florida’s ranking that much, but they might balance out a close loss to Auburn.

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