The bracket for the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis was released on Tuesday, and two years after Florida and Georgetown played half of a game on the deck of a U.S. Navy vessel, the Gators and Hoyas will meet again — in the Bahamas.
But that might not be the Gators' only rematch of the competition.
Florida and Georgetown will play on Wednesday, November 26 at 9:30 Eastern on AXS TV — good luck finding that — in Game 4 of the tournament, the final game of the Battle's first day. The winner of that game will move on to face the winner of Game 3 between Wisconsin and UAB in a Thanksgiving game on Thursday, November 27. And the winner of that game will play for the tournament title on Friday, November 28 against whichever team emerges from the pool of four teams in the bottom half of the bracket: Butler, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and UCLA.
The other spoil of victory for the winner of Game 4? The winner will play its next two games on ESPN, while the loser's next two games will be relegated to AXS TV.
The dream of a ridiculous four-game stretch for Florida — in which the Gators could have played UCLA, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Kansas consecutively — is dashed with this bracket release, sadly. But the Gators could still walk a road that includes consecutive meetings with Georgetown, Wisconsin, and North Carolina or UCLA before their trip to Lawrence to meet the Jayhawks.
And with Georgetown locked in as a Florida foe, the Gators are almost assured of not ending up with the booby prize of three lower-RPI foes. (North Carolina, which could end up playing Butler, a young and presumably weak UCLA team, and UAB in its three games, even if it wins, should be the only program with significant worries in that regard.) It's more likely that Florida will have a great chance at doing much of the work necessary to establish itself as a contender for another top-line seed in Nassau.
All the Gators have to do in the interim is figure out how to replace four senior starters off a Final Four team that won 30 straight games and went undefeated in SEC play.
Good thing that Billy Donovan's solving that puzzle.
Here's the full bracket for the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis, via ESPN: