The 2017-18 SEC schedule for men’s basketball was released by the conference Thursday, and it places the Florida Gators back on familiar ground for Senior Day — in Gainesville, against the Kentucky Wildcats.
The Gators’ portion of the 2017-18 SEC schedule — which includes, per the SEC, the 2018 SEC-Big 12 Challenge occurring in late January — is bookended by a December conference opener against recent nemesis Vanderbilt and that showdown in March with the Wildcats that could well decide the conference champion.
It also features no homestand or road trip of more than two games, multiple games against the other three SEC teams to make the 2017 NCAA Tournament — Kentucky, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt — and a rare January road trip to Rupp Arena to take on the Wildcats.
In the last 15 years, or since both have occupied the top rung of the league, Florida and Kentucky have routinely played in early February — the teams met on the first Saturday of February in each of the last three years — and then again in late February or March, with the second meeting between the two teams often serving as one team’s Senior Day. The Saturday, January 20, 2018 meeting between the two teams will be the first January matchup in series history since 2008, when the eventually NIT-bound Gators knocked off Billy Gillespie’s penultimate Kentucky squad by an 81-70 count in overtime.
Florida’s last Senior Day game on a Saturday against Kentucky, meanwhile, was an unforgettable 84-65 triumph that completed the first 18-0 regular season in SEC history.
Florida will also play teams from the same state in consecutive games three times in 2018, with February road trips to Nashville and Knoxville to see Vanderbilt and Tennessee forming the only road-road duet of those games. And the Gators’ schedule appears slightly more front-loaded, with five of their nine road games coming in January, including a visit to a suddenly loaded Missouri and the aforementioned sojourn to Lexington, and no week spent entirely on the road after a Texas A&M-Missouri week in early January.
The full Florida 2017-18 SEC schedule is below. Florida’s non-conference schedule, which is highlighted by its participation in the Nike-sponsored PK80 tournament, was released in July.
Florida Men’s Basketball 2017-18 SEC Schedule
|Saturday, December 30||Vanderbilt||Gainesville|
|Tuesday, January 2||Texas A&M||College Station, Tex.|
|Saturday, January 6||Missouri||Columbia, Mo.|
|Wednesday, January 10||Mississippi State||Gainesville|
|Saturday, January 14||Ole Miss||Oxford, Miss.|
|Tuesday, January 17||Arkansas||Gainesville|
|Saturday, January 20||Kentucky||Lexington, Ky.|
|Wednesday, January 24||South Carolina||Gainesville|
|Saturday, January 27||Baylor (SEC-Big 12 Challenge)||Gainesville|
|Tuesday, January 30||Georgia||Athens, Ga.|
|Saturday, February 3||Alabama||Gainesville|
|Wednesday, February 7||LSU||Gainesville|
|Saturday, February 10||South Carolina||Columbia, S.C.|
|Wednesday, February 14||Georgia||Gainesville|
|Saturday, February 17||Vanderbilt||Nashville|
|Wednesday, February 21||Tennessee||Knoxville|
|Saturday, February 24||Auburn||Gainesville|
|Tuesday, February 27||Alabama||Tuscaloosa, Al.|
|Saturday, March 3||Kentucky||Gainesville|