March Madness bracket: Florida Gators a No. 4 seed in 2017 NCAA Tournament, open play in Orlando

By Adam Silverstein
March 12, 2017
March Madness bracket: Florida Gators a No. 4 seed in 2017 NCAA Tournament, open play in Orlando
Basketball

Image Credit: ESPNI

Back in college basketball’s biggest event for the first time since 2014, the Florida Gators (24-8) on Sunday were announced as a No. 4 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

The Gators will open play on Thursday, March 16 in Orlando, Florida, as a double-digit favorite against No. 13 seed East Tennessee State Buccaneers (27-7) as part of the East Region. UF is 4-0 all-time against ETSU with wins in 1969, 1975, 1976 and 1980. The game will air live at approximately 3:10 p.m. ET on TruTV.

Should Florida advance, it would take on either No. 5 seed Virginia (22-10) or No. 12 seed UNC-Wilmington (29-5) on Saturday. UF is 1-1 all-time against Virginia, which boasts the No. 1 defense in the nation, with both games played in the NCAA Tournament. The Gators beat the Cavaliers 71-45 in 2012.

“Our guys have withstood a long, grueling season, with only playing a few games at home because of our unique circumstances, and they’ve handled it well,” said head coach Mike White. “They’re very deserving of this. We’re really excited to play in front of Gator fans in Orlando, but more importantly we have to get back to playing well.”

For the full 2017 NCAA Tournament bracket, click here.

Here is the entire seed list for the East Region.

1. Villanova
2. Duke
3. Baylor
4. Florida
5. Virginia
6. SMU
7. South Carolina
8. Wisconsin
9. Virginia Tech
10. Marquette
11. Providence/USC
12. UNC-Wilmington
13. East Tennessee State
14. New Mexico State
15. Troy
16. Mount Saint Mary’s/New Orleans (play-in game)

Florida, which checked in at No. 14 overall on the NCAA’s 1-68 seed list, is 1-2 against its bracket (0-1 vs. Duke, 1-1 vs. South Carolina) with a couple interesting connections. Former Gators forward DeVon Walker currently plays for Troy, which has a tough task in trying to upset Duke in the first round. Providence, Billy Donovan’s alma mater, is also part of the region and could make it into the tournament via a play-in game against USC. Virginia Tech was the original school of transfer guard Jalen Hudson, who is not eligible to play for the Gators until next season. White’s father, Kevin White, is the athletic director at Duke.

7 Comments

  1. .?? says:

    3 Florida teams in Orlando. Someone planned that well.

    • corey mulvihill says:

      They’ve been doing that for the past few years to try and get better crowds for the first weekend of the tournament. I remember back in ’94 and playing the first weekend in NY, the old Nassau Coliseum, and there was barely anyone there at all, much less Gator fans. I think if UF had dropped to a 5 seed, they still would’ve been in Orlando, just probably not in the East Region.

  2. Scott says:

    What session do the gators and holes play

    • John W says:

      Session 1 Good seats are expensive and they sell them in pairs. The ones I saw were $270 ea, but you had to buy 2 for $540. I could do $270….The game will start at about 3:10 depending on when the first game ends.

    • John W says:

      That’s for the Gators. I don’t know about the ‘Noles.

  3. Paul Ladd says:

    Will somebody please tell the guards to pass the darn ball? Thank you.

  4. Michael Jones says:

    I hope we go back to playing active, pressure D and on offense setting picks and passing the ball like a team again. This business where the guy with the ball dribbles it a few times between his legs and then tries to go 1-on-5 isn’t the kind of basketball that got us here.

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