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Gators get No. 7 seed in South Region of NCAA tournament after losing SEC Tournament final

Todd Golden-led Gators headed to first NCAA tournament since 2021
Florida Gators basketball coach Todd Golden and guard Will Richard protest call, Feb. 28, 2024
Posted at 6:50 PM, Mar 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-17 19:05:19-04

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Gators are going to the NCAA tournament. They just don't know who they'll play yet.

Florida (24-11) earned the No. 7 seed in the South Region and will play Friday in Indianapolis.

The Gators' opponent will be the winner of Wednesday night's play-in game between Boise State and Colorado.

Florida is headed back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2021. It will mark head coach Todd Golden's first NCAA tournament appearance in just his second season at the helm of the Gators.

The Gators fell one game shy of winning their first Southeastern Conference Tournament championship since 2014, losing to No. 12 Auburn 86-67 in Sunday's final.

They'll likely be without star center Micah Handlogten for the tournament after the 7-foot-1 sophomore suffered a gruesome leg injury just 81 seconds into the game. He was carted off the court in a stretcher and taken to a Nashville hospital with his leg in an air cast.

Florida Gators basketball coach Todd Golden kneels next to center Micah Handlogten after his injury in first half of SEC Tournament final, March 17, 2024
Florida head coach Todd Golden kneels next to center Micah Handlogten after he injured his leg during the first half of the Southeastern Conference Tournament final against Auburn, Sunday, March 17, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. Handlogten was taken off the court on a stretcher.

Florida is the last team to win back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007.

Friday's game will be the first-ever meeting against either Colorado or Boise State.