Florida Basketball wipes Alabama off the floor to march into the SEC semifinals

Mar 15, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Florida Gators guard Zyon Pullin (0) moves the ball into the front
Mar 15, 2024; Nashville, TN, USA; Florida Gators guard Zyon Pullin (0) moves the ball into the front / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

One night after playing out a game against Georgia that felt like a carbon copy of the two regular season games, it shouldn't have been too surprising to see Florida Basketball demolish Alabama after what transpired in their last meeting.

But even if the end result was foreseeable, it is a reminder of the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the Gators with March Madness looming around the corner.

Florida Basketball: Bye Bye Bye

Score. 102. 526. Final. 88. 523

In the totality of the game, it was a four minute surge at the end of the first half that sealed the deal. With 4:42 left in the half, Walter Clayton made a free throw that tied the game at 31. In a flash, Florida went on a 17-2 run to close out the half and when Will Richard dunked the ball home to make it 48-33 it seemed like the spirit of Alabama had been broken in half.

And much like last week's meeting in Gainesville, there was no second half mystery as to who was going to win. 54 second half points from the Gators kept whatever push the Crimson Tide made at bay and Florida cruised to the 14 point victory.

"Listen, Alabama is not the type of team that you can ever take a breath. When you play them, regardless of whether we had the 15-point lead or not, we knew we were going to have to keep scoring, staying aggressive and playing hard for the remainder of the game if we wanted to win."

Todd Golden

Florida said similar things about keeping their foot on the gas last week before blowing it against Vanderbilt, but if this tournament continues to mimic the regular season for the Gators they will get a chance to test their ability to hold a lead against a squad they couldn't hold one against in January.

Texas A&M pulled their own upset of Kentucky to set up the semifinal match up today. During the regular season, Florida had a 12 point second half lead before letting it squander away.

For better or for worse, the road to winning the SEC Tournament is wide open with Tennessee also losing in their first game, leaving Mississippi State and Auburn as the other two semifinal participants.

As we have pointed out though throughout the week, the last five teams from a Power Six conference to make the NCAA Tournament after playing in four games in their respective conference tournament all failed to advance past the first weekend of March Madness.

And of the last 13 teams to play four games in their conference tournament, only two advanced past the Sweet 16.

So we will see what kind of legs the Gators have today and if Todd Golden makes a big push or not to win it all. Energy levels aside, Florida has opportunity in front of them they are fully capable of achieving.