Florida got a brisk spanking from Kentucky in Sunday's SEC Championship, but in the words of the Notorious B.I.G., "It's all good baby bay-bay." That's because UF still landed a No. 2 seed for the NCAA Tournament, prompting ESPN's Doug Gottlieb to call it "the most over-seeded team in the tournament" during a brief anti-Florida rant that no doubt followed a meal of urine-soaked Corn Flakes.
That comment probably bothered some of you, but I say take a step back. Regardless of what anyone thinks, the only thing that matters is the Gators are in a GRRRREAT position (cereal on the brain for me tonight).
First off, they're playing in Tampa (if you watched Eastbound & Down, you know what profanity-filled video clip I wanted to put here), which means good fan support. And the first-round opponent, 15-seed California Santa-Barbara, shouldn't be much of a problem. The Gauchos (18-13) snuck in by winning the Big West Tourmanent, becoming the first No. 5 seed to pull that off. I suppose you could make the argument that they're hot heading into the tourney, but the Gators have no business losing to a team like that.
After that, it's either No. 7 UCLA or No. 10 Michigan State for a trip to the Sweet 16 in New Orleans. A win there, and the likely opponent would be either No. 3 BYU or No. 6 St. John's, and both those teams are hurting. BYU, which knocked UF out of last year's tournament, is without forward Brandon Davies -- who committed the unforgiveable sin of premarital sex and was kicked off the team -- and SJU is missing forward D.J. Kennedy, who tore his ACL on Thursday.
And looking waaaay down the road, it'd probably be either No. 1 Pitt, No. 4 Wisconsin or No. 5 Kansas State (whom Florida beat this year) standing in the way of a Final Four trip. That's assuming a lot, but most analysts I've seen have the Gators penciled into the Elite 8, as will many females by virtue of that No. 2 seed and Chandler Parsons.
Meanwhile, Kentucky is a No. 4 seed and will likely face top overall seed Ohio State if they make the Sweet 16. A lot of good winning the SEC did them.
Thoughts? I expected a No. 2 seed if Florida won today, but this came as a surprise. A 3 would have made a bit more sense to me, but I'll stop short of Gottlieb-ing them. Over-seeded or not, it doesn't matter because the hand has been dealt. To me, it looks great. How do y'all feel?