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Florida vs. Alabama: Preview, Prediction, Odds, Where to Watch and More

Everything you need to know before the Gators attempt to even the season series with No. 16 Alabama in Florida's 2023-24 home finale.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- For the final time in the 2023-24 campaign, Florida basketball is set to take Billy Donovan Court on Tuesday against the visiting Alabama Crimson Tide.

It took overtime when the two squads competed in Tuscaloosa just 13 days ago, a game in which Alabama eventually pulled out the victory, following a 10-point comeback in the second half to force the extra period. 

Florida aims to avenge the 98-93 road loss.

You can find everything you need to know before tip-off between the two SEC foes below, including an in-depth rundown of Florida's opponent, game prediction and more.

Florida Gators (20-9, 10-6 SEC) vs. No. 16 Alabama Crimson Tide (20-9, 12-4 SEC)

Where: Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, Gainesville, Fla.

When: Tuesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN | fuboTV (start your free trial)

Radio: Gator Sports Network from LEARFIELD | | SiriusXM 106 or 190

Odds: The Gators are 1.5-point favorites over the Crimson Tide on Tuesday, according to SI Sportsbook. The over/under for the contest is set at 176.5 points.

Series history: Florida trails the all-time series against Alabama, 70-79, but holds a 41-22 record at home. In their last meeting on Feb. 21, 2024, the Gators took the Crimson Tide to overtime in Tuscaloosa but failed to pull off the upset, falling 98-93.

Important stories

The rundown 

Not much has changed since the last time these two SEC foes went head to head.

They both still like to score. 

The success of both squads is predicated on offensive output, given the standings as the No. 1 and No. 15 most efficient units in the country in that category per KenPom. It sets up another high-scoring affair as a result.

Alabama, particularly, forces teams to succumb to the modern style of play. Utilizing a heavy dose of top-of-the-key actions — including traditional pick and rolls, pick and pops and ghost screens — the Crimson Tide attempts to create opportunities for rim twos and threes at a high clip.

In the first matchup, the Tide uncharacteristically struggled to shoot from beyond the arc. Knocking down nearly 40% of their attempts from long range before the contest, Alabama started just 2-of-18 from three, but found its shooting stroke in the second half to pull itself out of a ten-point hole down the stretch.

The overall percentage has dropped slightly since that contest, which is expected following the poor outing, but the Tide still presents a considerable challenge to the Gators’ up-and-down three-point defense. It’ll be imperative for Florida to work over screens and force low-percentage looks from the bevy of capable scorers Alabama has at its disposal.

Not doing so ultimately resulted in a loss last time around, as six Crimson Tide players posted double-digit points.

Mark Sears and Aaron Estrada lead the unit from the backcourt, excelling as scorers and facilitators to make the attack tick at an unparalleled volume. The duo combines for 34 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.7 rebounds per game on average.

Sears has starred as the team’s top player throughout the year, but Estrada’s recent form has elevated the Alabama attack even more. He is two games removed from a triple-double outing against Ole Miss.

As a result, Florida’s guard duo, Zyon Pullin and Walter Clayton Jr., will be called upon heavily to mitigate their impact — and continue spearheading the Gators' own scoring effort — if UF looks to outperform Bama in the highly anticipated rematch.

Brandon's Prediction (17-6): Florida 94, Alabama 86

The last time these two squads competed, Florida built a double-digit second-half lead and maintained a firm grip on the contest until the closing stretch.

Ultimately, Alabama — a squad that has excelled within the familiar confines of Coleman Coliseum during Nate Oats’ tenure in Tuscaloosa — mitigated the damage to erase Florida’s lead to the point of overtime. In the overtime period, a hot start by the Crimson Tide helped seal the deal on a narrow, hard-fought victory.

It showed the Gators match up well against the Tide despite the outcome. Both are fast-paced and high-scoring teams, a style that can really benefit from the juice a home crowd provides in the SEC.

Florida aims for revenge. 

This time, the home crowd sways the scale in UF’s direction, allowing the Gators to find considerable offensive success to topple the Tide in Gainesville, 94-86. 

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