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March 17, 2013

Gators a No. 3 seed in the South Region



Florida and Georgetown played one half of a basketball game on a cool night aboard the USS Bataan. When the game was called because of condensation on the court, the Gators led 27-23. A few weeks later, Florida announced an attempt to finish the game that never materialized.

The game could possibly be replayed in less than two weeks' time. This go-round would be at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line.

Sunday evening, the field for the 75th NCAA Tournament was announced and the Gators are a No. 3 seed in the South Region, the same region in which the Hoyas are a No. 2 seed. Florida will open tournament play against No. 14 seed Northwestern State. The Demons secured a spot in the tournament Saturday night when they won the Southland Conference Tournament Championship Game.

Northwestern State has the No. 1 scoring offense in Division I college basketball but lost games against LSU (102-95), Texas A&M (78-65) and Arkansas (79-61).

Florida's path to the Final Four will go through Texas. The Gators will be in Austin for their first two possible rounds to compete for an opportunity to play in the home of the Dallas Cowboys. This year's Final Four is at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Other teams in the South Region include No. 1 seed Kansas, No. 2 seed Georgetown, No. 4 seed Michigan, No. 5 seed Virginia Commonwealth and No. 6 seed UCLA. If the Gators are able to defeat Northwestern State, their second game would come against the winner of a meeting between UCLA and No. 11 seed Minnesota.

Florida was awarded a No. 3 seed after a 26-7 regular season and a regular season Southeastern Conference title. The Gators lost 66-63 to Ole Miss in Sunday's SEC Tournament Championship Game. Florida finished the season ranked No. 13 in the AP Poll and No. 6 in RPI.

"We're excited to be in the NCAA Tournament, and we look forward to a great challenge against Northwestern State on Friday," UF coach Billy Donovan said in an official statement.


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