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Florida vs. Albany, NCAA Tournament Game Thread: Can Gators stake claim in Empire State?

Once again, Florida's playing Albany in an NCAA Tournament.

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Two years to the day after the Florida men's basketball team got a scare from Albany in the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Florida women's basketball team is seeing the Great Danes in another NCAA Tournament, in a No. 5 vs. No. 12 matchup that could be dangerous for Amanda Butler's team.

The game tips off at 12:10 p.m., and will be televised on ESPN2, but you'll only get the game on ESPN2 if you live in Florida or eastern New York, thanks to ESPN's choice to do whip-around coverage. So your best bet to see it is probably ESPN3 or WatchESPN.

The Gators might be slightly underseeded on the No. 5 line, though they sputtered out of the SEC Tournament in their first game in Jacksonville, but Albany may well be underseeded, too, and has one of the nation's best players in Shereesha Richards, who averages 23.7 points per contest. Richards has nine 30-point games in 2015-16, and two 40-point outbursts; she's relentless inside, and grinds her way to free throws, too. And combined with guard Imani Tate (18.2 points per game), Albany has one of the nation's best inside-outside scoring combinations.

The Great Danes are a bit thin, though: Zakiya Saunders adds 11.3 points and 7.0 assists per game, but she and Tiana-Jo Carter are the only two other Albany players scoring more than five points per game. Florida, on the other hand, has five such players, two more than score at least six points per game, and three more who chip in at least five. The Gators may be led by Ronni Williams and senior point guards Carlie Needles and Cassie Peoples, but their depth has been what's made a transition to a pressing, high-octane style work.

That depth could overwhelm Albany, though the Great Danes will be playing in front of what should be a sympathetic crowd in Syracuse's cavernous Carrier Dome. And Florida's size could present problems for Albany if Williams and Haley Lorenzen can avoid foul trouble and Tyshara Fleming can contribute off the bench.

But there's reason to be on upset alert today. Here's hoping the Gators silence the siren.