Sports

Gators remain in the tournament field, per Lunardi


Florida’s loss to Texas Southern on Monday night dealt a major blow to the team’s NCAA Tournament resume in the early part of the season. Though the Gators are currently 7-2 after getting back on track against North Florida two days ago, they were dominated by the Tigers in a 15-point loss on their home court.

That Quadrant 4 loss is weighing Florida down significantly, and it will likely take several big wins in conference play for the Gators to undo the damage it caused. Still, this is a projected tournament team. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi has the team dropping to the eight-seed line in his latest update, predicting a first-round matchup against No. 9-seeded Colorado State in the South Region.

A victory in that one would likely set up a matchup in the second round against the tournament’s projected No. 1 overall seed, defending national champion Baylor. If the Gators could somehow survive that game, they could face SEC foe Arkansas in the Sweet 16, as the Razorbacks are the No. 4 seed in the South Region.

As far as the rest of the league goes, Alabama is up to the No. 3-seed line following its upset over Gonzaga. The Crimson Tide are projected to win the SEC Tournament and be the league’s automatic qualifier. They’re joined as a projected No. 3-seed by Kentucky, followed by No. 4-seeded Tennessee and No. 5-seeded Auburn and LSU.

While that would already be an impressive seven out of 14 SEC teams in the dance, it could be even better as Texas A&M and Mississippi State are listed among the First Four Out. Meanwhile, the Florida State team that the Gators snapped the streak against is projected to be among the Last Four In, facing Northwestern in a play-in game for the No. 11 seed in the Midwest Region.

Florida really can’t afford another slipup in its final three non-conference games — a Quadrant 3 matchup against Maryland in Brooklyn followed by Quadrant 4 games against South Florida and Stony Brook — if it wants to remain in these tournament projections, and the Gators will have a lot of work to do once conference play begins.

Follow us @GatorsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Florida Gators news, notes and opinions.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *