Familiar foes face off in Florida-Alabama SEC Tourney matchup


Florida will see a familiar face in its opening Southeastern Conference Tournament game on Thursday in Nashville, Tenn.

The Gators (15-16) will enter the tournament as the eighth seed and will play ninth-seed Alabama on Thursday at 1 p.m. at Bridgestone Arena.

Alabama (18-13, 8-10 SEC) is coming off a 61-60 win Saturday at Texas A&M. In the lone meeting between the schools this season, Florida won at Tuscaloosa 52-50 in a game decided by a Dorian Finney-Smith dunk with 13.1 seconds remaining.

Florida has won its last 10 meetings with Alabama. In addition, Florida coach Billy Donovan is 9-0 all-time against Alabama coach Anthony Grant, who served as Donovan’s assistant at Marshall and Florida from 1994-2006.

Florida is 6-5 all-time against Alabama in the SEC Tournament. In the last SEC Tournament meeting meeting between the two schools, the Gators beat Alabama 61-51 in the 2013 SEC Tournament semifinals.

If the Gators beat Alabama, they will get a quick rematch with No. 1 Kentucky in Friday’s tournament quarterfinals (1 p.m. tip). Kentucky knocked off the Gators 67-50 on Saturday afternoon at Rupp Arena. Here’s a look at the full bracket.