Florida basketball slides outside of ESPN’s latest bracketology

Florida basketball suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, falling two points short of a Southeastern Conference schedule-opening victory inside the O’Connell Center, 87-85.

The Gators had been included in all of the major bracketologies this season, albeit toward the bottom of the seedings — especially as the schedule has worn on. Now 10-4 overall with a 0-1 mark in SEC play and ranked No. 49 in the NET rankings, Todd Golden’s team has been inching closer and closer to the exit door of late and it appears that the chickens have finally come home to roost.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi published his most recent update to his brackets on Tuesday, with Florida leading off the “first four out” category and now sitting outside of the Big Dance looking in. The Gators were previously a No. 11 seed and among the last four byes, slated to play in the South bracket based in Dallas, Texas.

Prior to that, the Orange and Blue were a No. 10 seed in the West based in Los Angeles, California.

Other Southeastern Conference schools included in the mix this week are the Tennessee Volunteers (No. 2), Kentucky Wildcats (No. 2), Auburn Tigers (No. 3), Alabama Crimson Tide (No. 6), Texas A&M Aggies (No. 8), Ole Miss Rebels (No. 8), South Carolina Gamecocks (No. 9) and the Mississippi State Bulldogs (No. 11) — who are among the last four in.

Florida next travels for its first road game of the 2024 portion of the schedule with a matchup against Ole Miss on Wednesday, Jan. 10, in Oxford, Mississippi. Tipoff is slated for a late 9 p.m. ET start and the game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

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Story originally appeared on Gators Wire