Florida has been known as a College Football State since the 1980s. Between the Miami Hurricanes, Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles, they have won 11 National Championships since 1983 and been top five teams many many other times. With other Florida schools such as the UCF Knights winning a Fiesta Bowl three seasons ago and the USF Bulls going 11-2 this season and also having some other really good seasons in recent years, Florida has been a Football State.
But Florida has also bee a place with some pretty good basketball too. The Gators have two National Championships and five Final Four appearances and there have also been some good NCAA runs by the Seminoles, and Hurricanes, both of who have won the ACC Tournament in recent years. Then of course we also saw the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles memorable Sweet Sixteen run in 2013, forever changing their mane to “Dunk City.”
But in 2017, we may be seeing the best that the state has been in hoops in its history. The Gators are 3-0 in SEC play and 12-3 overall and ranked in the Top 25. Mike White has the Rowdy Reptiles excited about basketball again after two disappointing years in a row following up their most recent Final Four run.
The UCF Knights are also 3-0 in conference play in the American Conference and have been a very good defensive team all season. They have wins against Mississippi State and Temple on the resume with a big one with UConn on Sunday.
But the best team in the Sunshine State is #12 Florida State who is on an 11 game win streak and is 15-1 with wins over Florida, Virginia and Virginia Tech. FSU has a big game with Duke coming up this week. Coach leonard Hamilton, who FSU fans used to complain about, has bult a juggernaut in the Basketball crazy ACC.
It is quite possible that the winners of the AAC, SEC and ACC could all be from Florida this year. Of course there are some really good teams in all those conferences that will have a lot to say about that. But we should see as many as five teams from Florida in the NCAA Tournament with the Hurricanes and Dunk City Eagles joining the Big Three. The NCAA Tournament should be a really big deal in FLorida this March. Maybe this will be as big as the football bowl season there?