Florida Basketball play their greatest hits in Nashville to survive and beat Georgia

Florida's victory followed a theme the Gators have used all season long

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

If an up-and-coming country music artist wants to make it in Nashville, they can't start out playing a bunch of original songs. Artists frequently have to play hits that everyone knows and is familiar with. That same concept followed Florida Basketball into the Bridgestone Arena on Thursday night, as the Gators played all their greatest hits in an 85-80 victory over Georgia.

The win helps secure the floor for Florida's NCAA Tournament seeding and keeps the Gators alive to move up in seeding for Selection Sunday.

Florida Basketball: Greatest Hits

The last ten minutes of Florida's win felt like a mirror image of their loss over Vanderbilt last Saturday.

Highly questionable to downright awful officiating? Check.

Eight point second half lead that gets blown in an instant? Check.

Walter Clayton throwing away an inbounds pass in the final minute while trying to milk the clock? Check.

But in this edition of the Todd Golden Experience, Riley Kugel was able to make six free throws down the stretch to allow the Gators to hand on. Even though there was some comical officiating, including a clear flop that led to Zyon Pullin being called for his fifth foul on a charge call, the Gators only have themselves to blame as to why the score was even close.

Florida missed 18 free throws, shot just 43% from the field, and 11 turnovers, and after going up by eight points with 8:16 to play allowed Georgia to tie it just three minutes later.

In fact with 3:46 left the Gators went up again by six points, only for Georgia to have the ball only down one point 80 seconds later.

The mantra this time of year is to survive and advance and plenty of teams in their respective conference tournaments did not accomplish that, including Duke.

Beating Georgia was essential for holding their seed line, but the hard part is now gauging just how hard to push the rest of the way in Nashville. As we chronicled earlier this week, it is now in Florida's best interest to make it to the finals on Sunday if they intend to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament next week.

Florida will take on Alabama tonight. Tip off is expected to be around 9:30.

22-10. Friday. 523. . 9:30. 526. SEC Network. Basketball. 21-10