Feb. 14, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Florida Gators forward Erik Murphy (33) looks to shoots past Alabama Crimson Tide guard Rodney Cooper (21) during the second half at Coleman Coliseum. Florida won 61-52. Mandatory Credit: Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE

SEC Tournament Preview: Florida Gators Vs. Alabama Crimson Tide - Mar. 9, 2012

The regular season is over and now it’s tourney time. The NCAA Tournament is right around the corner, but first up for the Florida Gators is the SEC Tournament and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Facts

Opponent: Alabama Crimson Tide
When: Fri., March 9, 2012 – 3:30 PM
Where: New Orleans, LA
Broadcast: SEC Tournament
Records: Florida: 22-9 (10-6 SEC), Alabama: 22-10 (10-7 SEC)
Rankings: Florida: 19/22, Alabama: NR
Current Streak: Florida: L3, Alabama: W1
Point Spread: Florida -3
Last Meeting: Florida 61-52 (February 14, 2012)

The Preview

With a 63-57 victory over South Carolina on Thursday, Alabama won the right to face Florida in the second round of the SEC Tournament. These teams have met before, but with not as much at stake. The winner is likely to face No. 1 Kentucky on Saturday and while that’s not much of a reward, it does mean that team advanced another round.

The Gators have hope. Hope they are rested. Hope the Tide will be too fatigued to play two tough dates in a row. Hope the recent slide is over. With a win, Florida could be looking at a 5-seed in the Big Dance. With a loss, a 7-seed is a real possibility. The higher the seed, the better, even if there is an upset stigma that comes along with being seeded fifth.

Florida needs sophomore forward Patric Young to play with the intensity he found against Kentucky. The Gators also need the three-headed guard monster to come to play and, most important, make shots. If Young is playing hard down low and the guards are living up to their talent and potential, Florids approaches unstoppable. The problem is that we’ve rarely seen that happen all together. And that could be the name of this game – consistency. Whichever team has it or finds it first stands the best chance to take advantage of this opportunity and “just win.”

This is one of two remaining games the Gators are guaranteed. No more; just those two. Win Friday and the guarantee resets to two. It’s definitely time to take care of business.

Before or after the game, let us know where you think the Gators will be seeded in the NCAA Tournament. The poll is located in the bar to the right. Scroll down and you’ll find it.

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Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Florida Basketball Florida Gators NCAA Tournament Patric Young SEC SEC Tournament

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