Gators Get Syracuse in SEC/Big East Challenge

For months we've been hearing and telling you folks the Gator basketball team would be playing Connecticut next season. Well, it turns out we lied. The matchups for the event will instead have Kentucky facing the Huskies in Madison Square Garden on December 9. The other game in New York will have Georgia taking on St. Johns.

The Gators will face a familiar foe in Syracuse while Mississippi State faces DePaul in Tampa the next night. The doubleheader will give Tampa fans a chance to make up for their miserable showing at the SEC Tournament last month, but facing Syracuse again certainly doesn't add any spice to the event from Florida's perspective.

The Gators lost to Syracuse 89-83 in Kansas City last season. They also played and beat the Orange in the pre-season NIT in November of 2005.

Both teams are in a state of flux in terms of knowing what kind of team they'll have next year. Florida is busily trying to recruit players while awaiting Nick Calathes' decision about returning for his junior year. Syracuse already knows it's losing star guard Jonny Flynn but may or may not have forward Paul Harris and guard Eric Devendorf.

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