Florida Gators to open NCAA Tournament in Orlando

Florida guard KeVaughn Allen and the Gators will open NCAA Tournament play in Orlando. (Wade Payne / AP) Despite a bumpy few weeks, the Florida Gators did enough to open the NCAA Tournament in Orlando.

UF (24-8) is a No. 4 seed and will face No. 13 East Tennessee State (27-7) in the East Region.

CBS analysts immediately identified the Buccaneers as a team with the potential to upset the Gators, noting Florida has not been the same since center John Egbunu suffered a season-ending injury.

Orlando tournament games are scheduled to be played on Thursday and Saturday, with game times to be announced later tonight.

If the Gators advance, they’ll face the winner of No. 5 Virginia (22-10) versus No. 12 UNC-Wilmington (22-0) for a spot in Sweet 16 games to be played in New York.

UF closed the regular season with a 73-71 loss at Vanderbilt March 4, then picked up a 72-62 overtime loss to the Commodores Friday in the SEC Tournament.

Florida went 0-3 against Vandy this season and 24-5 against everyone else the Gators faced.

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