GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Gators will likely need an impressive run in the Southeastern Conference Tournament to keep their hopes for an NCAA tournament bid alive.
Florida (17-14, 9-9 SEC) finished with a .500 record in conference play and earned the No. 8 seed in the SEC Tournament. The Gators will face No. 9 seed Arkansas (17-14, 8-10) in the second round Thursday.
The Gators lost to No. 6 Kentucky 66-57 in Sunday's regular-season finale, falling for the eighth time against nine ranked opponents this season. Their lone win was an 82-77 overtime win against top-seed LSU (26-5, 16-2) last month.
Florida defeated Arkansas 57-51 on Jan. 9 in the only other meeting between the teams this season. The Gators lost to the Razorbacks 80-72 in the quarterfinals of last year's SEC Tournament.
The Gators have made the NCAA tournament in each of their last two seasons under fourth-year head coach Mike White.
Florida hasn't won an SEC Tournament since defeating Arkansas 77-56 in the 2007 championship game.