Looks like the Sunshine State Showdown is back in business. At least in one sport.
Florida and Miami will play a home and home series in each of the next two years. The Hurricanes will visit the O’Dome on November 17, 2014, and Florida will make the return trip down south to BankUnited at an undetermined date the following season. In addition to the basketball series, the two AD’s- Florida’s Jeremy Foley and Miami’s Blake James- are also negotiating a potential football matchup (much to my joy), though I have no definite update on that.
Florida has won the last two in this rivalry, and leads the all time series with Miami by a lopsided 45-22 margin, so Gator fans will always have that in an argument with the Canes. And there are lots of arguments between fans of these teams, from football to basketball to baseball to recruiting. That’s why it’s so important to the fans to see this rivalry actually played out on a playing field or court- so it can be settled on the field/court and not on social media by anybody with nothing better to do.
It’s the first time the Gators and Canes have played on the hardwood since 2009, when Florida silenced Miami 74-60 in Gainesville. Before that, the last meeting was in 2006, when the Gators won in Miami.
But despite the high tensions sure to be present in the buildup to this game due to the whole “rivalry” aspect (term used half jokingly), it’s actually one of the Gators’ easier non conference games.
Included in Florida’s non conference schedule are: UConn, at Kansas, at Florida State and Wake Forest in Sunrise (FL). On top of that, the Gators will also participate in the Battle for Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas, which features North Carolina, Georgetown, Oklahoma, Butler, Wisconsin, UCLA and UAB. Each team is guaranteed three games, and Florida is probably going to be one of the better teams there, so figure that Florida will play three more tough games in the Bahamas.
I’m never one to complain about schedule strength, though. I love watching Florida get challenged by good teams. It makes for a good litmus test and good practice for the type of teams the Gators will have to beat if they want to lift some trophies.
If only Foley would do the same thing in football…