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NCAA Tournament 2018: Florida gets No. 6 seed, will play St. Bonaventure

The Gators face a tough road to the second weekend — and the second round.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Florida vs Arkansas Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a totally understandable and in no way frustrating alphabetical reveal of the at-large teams to make the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Florida Gators fans had to wait about 10 minutes from the beginning of Sunday’s bracket reveal show to have the Gators’ return to the NCAA Tournament confirmed.

But, yes, the Gators are in.

The Gators earned a No. 6 seed in the East Region, and will face the winner of a First Four game between No. 11 seeds St. Bonaventure and UCLA in Dallas on Thursday. Update: It’ll be the Bonnies, winners of Tuesday’s game against the Bruins.

The rest of the East Region bracket includes No. 1 seed Villanova, No. 2 seed Purdue, and No. 3 seed Texas Tech — which could face the Gators in Dallas on Saturday, should both teams advance.

For Florida, it’s a second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance after two years spent on the outside looking in that bridged the last year of Billy Donovan’s tenure and the first season of Mike White’s stewardship of the Gators.

Now, the focus for the Gators will be on extending one of the NCAA Tournament’s truly remarkable streaks: The last five times the Gators have made the March Madness cut, they have made the Elite Eight — at least.