Florida got what it hoped for despite losing three of its last four games — a trip to Orlando.
The Gators drew a four seed and will face East Tennessee State in the opener. ETSU won the Southern Conference tournament and finished 27-7. It played two SEC teams, beating Mississippi State and losing to Tennessee.
It’s a talented team that Seth Davis already said he’s picking to pull the first-round upset.
If Florida gets out of the first round, the gators will face either Virginia or UNC-Wilmington. To be honest, there’s not telling who will win that game. Florida would almost be better off playing offensively-challenged Virginia.
The committee usually tries to avoid rematches, but UNCW and ETSU played early in this season and could face off in the Round of 32 if they both pull off upsets. UNCW won that earlier game 68-59.
Of course, if Florida advances, it could face No. 1 overall seed Villanova in the Sweet 16. And if the Gators got to the Elite Eight, they might have to play Duke.
So it’s a tough bracket. But it’s like that line from the butler in “Arthur” — “This is a tie you cannot steal.” You have to earn it.