Florida Gators basketball team get No. 9 seed, to face Texas A&M in SEC tournament opener

Gator Sports
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The Florida men's basketball team will face Texas A&M to open Southeastern Conference Tournament Thursday at noon in Tampa. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network.

Florida was part of a five-way tie for fifth place at 9-9 in the SEC standings and received the No. 9 seed for the tournament; the Aggies are the No. 8 seed. The Gators lost to Texas A&M at College Station by a point, 56-55, on Feb. 15. 

The winner of Thursday's matchup will take on top-seeded Auburn in the quarterfinals on Friday at noon.

Florida and Texas A&M have met once before in the SEC Tournament, with the Aggies taking a 2016 quarterfinal meeting in Nashville, 72-66.

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Florida Gators forward Colin Castleton (12) talks with Florida Gators head coach Mike White during the game against Kentucky Saturday afternoon, March 5, 2022 at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville.

At 19-12 entering the conference tournament, the Gators are one victory away from securing another 20-win season, a milestone the team has reached every full-length season under head coach Mike White.  White's 72-52 SEC record at UF places him within the league's all-time top-20 head coaches for conference winning percentage (.581), and Florida has not had a losing season in SEC play under White's guidance.

Colin Castleton leads the Gators, averaging 16.4 points, including 17.9 in conference play, and 9.1 rebounds to go along with 61 blocked shots. Tyree Appleby averages 11.2 points and leads the team with 114 assists. Phlandrous Fleming Jr. also enters the SEC Tournament averaging double-figure scoring at 10.7 per game and has a team-high 43 steals. Appleby and Myreon Jones are tied for the team lead with 60 made three-pointers each.

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