SEC Basketball Opponents Announced

It might feel like the basketball season is still in the distant future but it started to feel just a little bit closer on Wednesday as the SEC announced opponents for each team on Wednesday morning.


As of right now this is just a list of who is playing who at home and on the road, so we’ll have to wait a little bit longer for those details.


In a league with fourteen teams and therefore an unbalanced schedule these announcements of who is playing who and where those teams are playing is of maximum importance when you try to figure out who could compete for the top of the league and who will have a favorable schedule to bolster an NCAA Tournament resume.


Florida has seen firsthand what a difference the schedule can make as the past two years they had relatively favorable slates whereas the prior two years they got slammed with difficult schedules that resulted in them going on losing streaks in the league when they weren’t even playing bad basketball but got tasked with incredibly difficult runs of opponents.


Of course, scheduling will also become more interesting, and even more important, when Oklahoma and Texas join the league–but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.


Here are Florida’s opponents for the 2022-23 season:


Home and Away: Kentucky, Georgia, Vanderbilt, LSU, Texas A&M


Home Only: Tennessee, Missouri, South Carolina, Ole Miss


Away Only: Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi State


Let’s start with the home and away opponents who the Gators will see twice.


Of course, the Gators will continue to play Kentucky, Georgia, and Vanderbilt twice which has become a regular fixture of the SEC schedule. As stated earlier dates and times haven’t been announced but it has become tradition for the second half of the series with Kentucky to be played as the last game of the regular season, so you can likely expect to see that again. The Gators will also get to see Mike White twice with a rebuilding Georgia roster, which given the struggles that program has had recently is probably an advantageous break for the Gators to get to play them twice, as has been the case with Vanderbilt who has been building some momentum but just lost Scotty Pippen Jr. to the pros. 


Knowing exactly what to expect from LSU in a transition year is tough, but Matt McMahon is a quality head coach and he was able to land some talented transfers. The sneakily difficult team in the home and away column is Texas A&M who ended last season on a hot streak and returns much of their talent from that team.


In terms of home only games for the Gators they get a couple of easier matchups with the 8th, 9th, and 14th projected finishers in the SEC according to statistical tool T-Rank (Bart Torvik) in Ole Miss, Missouri, and South Carolina. If Florida takes care of business they could have some frictionless wins at home, and taking care of business at home is a key element in finishing at the top of the SEC. Tennessee, on the other hand, is absolutely loaded and could very well win the league and the Vols coming to Gainesville will offer Florida fans a very good game at the O’Dome that you should circle on your calendar whenever the dates and times are announced.


Looking at Florida’s road only matchups, all I can say is…wow. This isn’t just the most difficult road slate any SEC team will have to face this season, it’s the most difficult the league has given in multiple seasons.


This isn’t to complain or to suggest the Gators are getting treated unfairly–let’s remember the Gators will get to play Georgia and Vanderbilt twice and also get a pretty light home slate. In a league as good as the SEC you’re going to have to play great teams eventually and for Florida this year they’ll just have to take things a bit easier at home and then have a gauntlet on the road.


Arkansas has three players in the mix to be lottery picks and will be picked by plenty of fans and media to win the league. Alabama also boasts first round talent as well as bringing back some key contributors from last season. Auburn brings back their backcourt from a year ago and then sprinkles in one of the best recruiting classes in the league throughout the wings and frontcourt. Mississippi State is in a rebuild after making a coaching change but they have traditionally had one of the tougher home courts in the SEC to play in. 


Needless to say, things won’t be easy for the Gators on the road. 


Fortunately, the Gators will have every opportunity to put up good wins this season and position themselves to not just make the NCAA Tournament but have a quality seed. 


When dates and times are announced, we’ll be sure to put them up at Gator Country. 

Eric Fawcett
Eric hails from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His blend of sports and comedy has landed his words on 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 @Efawcett7.