Road to NYC Goes Through the O'Dome

If there was any doubt how close the Gators came to an NCAA bid, just look at the NIT bracket. Both Florida and Auburn were chosen as No. 1 seeds for the NIT using the same evidence and criteria the NCAA selection committee relies on. As a result the Gators can return to the Final Four of the NIT by winning three games in the O'Connell Center.

Florida will play Jacksonville Wednesday night in the first round game followed by either Miami or Providence. The Gators didn't get an easy draw with easily the toughest second round game of any top seed, but they do get to play at home.

This will be a challenge to see if this team views a return to New York and a chance to maybe win this event is worth putting it on the line for. The Gators made it to the Big Apple a year ago only to lose to U-Mass, so for this season to be viewed as progress they need to win a trip to NYC and win.

Overall, the SEC did well with four invites to the event with the two No. 1 seeds being joined by South Carolina and Kentucky. Carolina will get to host Stephan Curry and Davidson while the Wildcats entertain Lon Kruger's UNLV Runnin' Rebels.

Look, no one really wants to be in the NIT, but so what. Florida has reached the semi-finals in New York twice, but has not won a game up there. It's not their first choice, but there's only one opportunity left for this team. Seeing how they're in the NIT, they might as well win the damn thing.

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