Breaking Down Florida Basketball’s SEC Schedule

On Thursday the SEC announced the official 2023-24 basketball schedule, a sign that the season is getting closer and closer. Teams already knew what matchups they’d have, but a look at the official schedule starts to lay out a roadmap of what teams will need to do in order to be successful.

Here is Florida’s SEC schedule, followed by some takeaways:

Kentucky (January 6)
@ Ole Miss (January 10)

Arkansas (January 13)

@ Tennessee (January 16)

@ Missouri (January 20)

Mississippi State (January 24)
Georgia (January 27)

@ Kentucky (January 31)

@ Texas A&M (February 3)

Auburn (February 10)
LSU (February 13)

@ Georgia (February 17)

@ Alabama (February 21)

Vanderbilt (February 24)

Missouri (February 28)

@ South Carolina (March 2)

Alabama (March 5)
@ Vanderbilt (March 9)


First of all, it’s notable that the Gators will kick off SEC play against Kentucky. For the past decade the Gators have had both matchups with the Wildcats late in the season, with a regular season finale taking place against them a number of times. An opening matchup with the always–hyped Wildcats will be a chance for the Gators to set the tone for their conference season, particularly at home where the O’Dome should be rocking. 


Oftentimes you can look at Florida’s schedule entering the season and pinpoint a “murderer’s row” of 4-5 games that will be extremely difficult but looking at this year’s schedule there isn’t a clear stretch of games against the projected top of the league. Of course, by the time SEC play rolls around teams could be viewed a lot differently than they are now, but as we currently stand there isn’t a stretch of games that looks like there is potential for a serious slide. The most dangerous stretch is likely from January 31st to February 10th where the Gators will play at Kentucky, at Texas A&M, and then at home against Auburn–but that’s made easier by the fact the Gators will have their bye week between Texas A&M and Auburn.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, it’s nice to look at some easier stretches in the season where you could see the Gators rattling off a number of wins in a row to rocket up the standings. Florida’s schedule is fairly balanced and while there doesn’t appear to be three or four really tough games in a row, there also isn’t a stretch with a bunch of games of the projected bottom of the league in a row as well. If you had to pick a stretch where the Gators could take three in a row you could look at the games against Missouri, Mississippi State, and Georgia from January 20th to January 27th which certainly would be nice to get considering they’ll then have a difficult portion of scheduling. You could also look at Vanderbilt-Missouri-South Carolina from February 24th to March 2nd, which could be big considering the SEC standings are always so tight and nearly always come down to the final games of the season.


Speaking of the final game of the season, Florida will close on the road at Vanderbilt which is a scary game considering the issues the Gators had with the Commodores last season. In fact, the fact that the two matchups against Vanderbilt are February 24th and March 9th should be some concern to the Gators. In recent seasons the Commodores have always been on a constant upward trajectory for the entire season, playing their best basketball in the final weeks. Add that in with the struggles Florida had against Vanderbilt plus the fact the second meeting and the final game of the regular season will be in Nashville at Memorial Gym and it could be a difficult game. Florida will have to hope that this isn’t a game with massive standings or NCAA Tournament resume implications. 


If you’re within travelling distance to Gainesville one of the questions always asked is “what home games are on Saturdays?” Those would be:


Kentucky (January 6)

Arkansas (January 13)
Georgia (January 27)

Auburn (February 10)

Vanderbilt (February 24)


In recent seasons the SEC has become a premier basketball league that has largely upgraded its talent and coaching ability and there aren’t many easy games but overall when you look at the schedules across the league it’s hard to say that the Gators didn’t get pretty lucky. They have pretty easy matchups when it comes to opponents they have to see twice, and their schedule is extremely balanced where they don’t have any particularly difficult stretches (though they also don’t have any stretches of cupcakes). If Florida’s talent is what they think it is and they’re able to execute at a high level, the schedule could easily help propel them to a high SEC finish and a stellar NCAA Tournament resume. 

Eric Fawcett
Eric is a basketball coach and writer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His work has been found at NBA international properties, ESPN, Bleacher Report, CBS Sports, Lindy's and others. He loves zone defenses, the extra pass, and a 30 second shot clock. Growing up in Canada, an American channel showing SEC basketball games was his first exposure to Gator hoops, and he has been hooked ever since. You can follow him on Twitter at @ericfawcett_.