Florida Basketball is done minimal favors from the NCAA Tournament committee

The Gators were given a seven seed after many pegged them for a six seed or better for March Madness
Mar 17, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Florida Gators head coach Todd Golden talks with forward Tyrese
Mar 17, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Florida Gators head coach Todd Golden talks with forward Tyrese / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

There is a optimistic and a pessimistic way Florida Basketball can view its seeding in the NCAA Tournament. The optimist would look at the fact that as long as a team is dancing they still have a chance and if the Gators can get to the Sweet 16 they will potentially face off against an opponent they would feel very comfortable with.

But the pessimist will look at what their seeding could have been and what it was, and the road to get out of Indianapolis still dancing is harder than it should have been.

Florida Basketball: Dancing On My Own

The Florida Gators will be the seven seed in the South Region. Almost every Bracketologist and prognosticator had Florida pegged as a six seed who potentially played their way into a five seed after their run in the SEC Tournament, so landing at seven felt like a slap in the face.

The committee did do Florida one favor by ensuring they play on Friday rather than Thursday, granting the Gators an extra day of rest. While most teams who played on Sunday were granted a Friday slot, not all were as Illinois is going to have a quick turnaround playing on Thursday.

But in granting the Gators an extra day of rest, it seemingly locked the Gators out getting a six seed even if the committee wanted to put the Gators there. Clemson is the only six seed playing on a Friday, but they would feed into Baylor for their second round matchup. In general, the committee tries to avoid rematches from the regular season in the first two rounds of the tournament.

Florida possibly could have been bumped up to a five seed, but that would have required taking the spot of St. Mary's, San Diego State, or Wisconsin in order to play on Friday. Of those, Wisconsin is the only one that doesn't feed into a rematch for Florida as they are set to play Duke in the second round, but it would have been hard to justify bumping the Badgers down.

So Florida gets stuck with a seven seed and awaits the winner of Colorado vs Boise State in the First Four game. It may seem like an advantage to take on the winner of the First Four, but both teams present matchup struggles for the Gators as both are in the top 25 for defensive rebounding percentage.

Plus since 2013, at a team that played in the First Four has gone on to win at least one more round in nine of the last NCAA Tournaments.

If Florida does get pass the first round, their pathway does present winnable matchups. They would feed into Marquette, a team 254th in defensive rebounding. If seed lines hold, they would see Kentucky in the Sweet 16.

But in March, it's one game at a time, and Florida can't win six games before it wins one. And with seeding semantics, that first game is far from guaranteed.