Florida is heading down the home stretch of the 2012-13 season playing for a higher seed in the NCAA Tournament.
But Florida coach Billy Donovan said he doesn’t view a big difference between being a No. 1 seed and No. 3 seed, which is where the Gators are currently projected.
“The selection committee is going to seed you how they seed you,” Donovan said. “You’ve got to go out and play. You’ve got to get prepared to play.”
Donovan said he felt the Gators should have been seeded higher than No. 7 last season (some projections had UF as a 5 seed). But the Gators caught a break when No. 15 seed Norfolk State upset No. 2 Missouri in their bracket. Florida went on to defeat Norfolk State 84-50 en route to to its second straight Elite Eight appearance.
“Does it make a difference? I don’t know,” Donovan said. “I mean, you could look at the numbers and say the better seeding you have, the more likelihood there is to advance. But, I mean, we’re a seven seed last year with an opportunity to go to the Final Four. We’ve got to go out and play regardless of what the number is next to our name.”
ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi currently has Florida as a No. 3 seed in the South Region in his latest bracketology. CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm, meanwhile, has Florida as a No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region. Both Lunardi and Palm have UF opening the NCAA Tournament in Dayton, Ohio.
But Florida could climb to a No. 2 seed or possibly even a No. 1 seed with a strong finish. UF is currently No. 6 in the latest NCAA.com’s RPI, an indicator the Selection Committee uses to judge seeding. The Gators are 1-2 vs. the RPI Top 25, 4-3 vs. the RPI Top 50 and 12-5 vs. the RPI Top 100.
It’s a decent resume, which could improve with a win at Kenutcky and/or wins over either Kentucky and Missouri in the SEC Tournament. But senior forward Erik Murphy said it’s more important at this point for the Gators to continue to improve heading into the NCAA Tournament.
“Seeding, that will take care of itself,” Murphy said. “We’ve all seen in college basketball just because we’re seeded really good it doesn’t really matter in the long run. So we’re not going to worry about that.”