Gators Open SEC Tournament with a Familiar Foe – Vandy
The Florida men’s basketball finished the regular season in second place in the SEC with an impressive 24-7 overall record and 14-4 mark in league play. Two of those conference losses came to the Vanderbilt Commodores by a combined four points. Next up on the Gators’ schedule as they begin the SEC Tournament on Friday night in the Music City: the Vanderbilt Commodores. The quarterfinal matchup between the Gators and Commodores at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville is set to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. ET (6:00 p.m. CT) with coverage of the game airing live on the SEC Network.
After playing the first two months on the road due to the renovation of the O’Dome, the Florida Gators settled in and established themselves as one of the best teams in the conference, particularly with an emphatic 22-pt. blowout home win over rival Kentucky in front of a primetime national audience. The victory over the Wildcats was the fourth straight in a string of nine consecutive wins during the middle of the season for the Gators.
Down the stretch Florida faltered slightly, however, following a season-ending injury to center John Egbunu, dropping two of their last three games. Now the Gators must rally, starting against a familiar opponent that has given them trouble the last few years.
Vanderbilt earned the opportunity to take down Florida once again with a runaway 66-41 victory over Texas A&M on Thursday evening. The Commodores only led by three at the half, 23-20, but outscored the Aggies by 22 in the second period for a 66-41 victory.
The winner of Friday night’s game will advance to the tournament semifinal on Saturday afternoon against either Arkansas or Ole Miss.