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Florida finishes No. 14 on 2017 NCAA Tournament seed list

The Gators barely fell over the last month of the season despite late stumbles.

NCAA Basketball: Florida at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators earned a No. 4 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, as was revealed Sunday evening by CBS. But the Gators were also closer to a No. 3 seed than a No. 5 seed, suggesting that much of the hand-wringing about their stumbles late in the year was for naught.

We know this because the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee now releases an official seed list — and this year’s has Florida at No. 14, between No. 13 Butler and No. 15 West Virginia.

The Gators were ranked No. 11 and projected as a No. 3 seed by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee on the heels of their biggest win this season, a school-record victory over the Kentucky Wildcats in mid-February. Despite losing center John Egbunu and then going 1-3 over their final four games — including two losses to Vanderbilt, which made history by becoming the first team with 15 losses to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large selection — the Gators slid just three rungs in the last month or so, and only dropped one seed line.

That’s a validation of the work Florida did prior to the final three weekends of its season, and a vindication of those who asserted concerns about the Gators’ seeding were largely overblown.