Gators projected by ESPN to make 2022 NCAA Tournament… barely

·2 min read

Florida basketball suffered a disappointing season in Mike White’s final campaign, falling short of many expectations and failing to make the NCAA Tournament after stringing four-straight appearances together prior. As a result, the Gators’ seven-year head coach sought greener pastures north of the border with the Georgia Bulldogs in what some say was a profane gesture toward UF’s program.

Now, the new captain at the helm is former San Francisco Don’s head coach Todd Golden, who looks 10 years younger than his actual mid-30s age and brings in a fresh breath of modern analytics to the team. He has previous experience in the Southeastern Conference with a stint at Auburn, where he worked with Bruce Pearl for a pair of seasons as director of basketball operations and assistant coach in each respective year.

With a different system in place, along with some transfer portal additions like Will Richard and Alex Fudge, ESPN’s first bracketology for the 2023 NCAA Tournament believes that the Gators will eke into the Big Dance as the “last team in.” Ahead of Florida on the “last four in” are Colorado, St. Mary’s and Notre Dame, while Washington State is right on the Gators’ heels as the first team out and fellow SEC peer Kentucky holds the overall No. 1 seed.

There is still a long summer and a full schedule of games to be played before anyone knows how the tournament will shake out next spring, but it has to be encouraging for Florida fans to see their beloved Orange and Blue get some love from the national media. Getting in on the March Madness is a tall task for Golden and his team, but don’t count out the O’Connell Center crew just yet.

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List

Here's all of Florida basketball's rankings at close of 2021-22 season

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