SEC releases Gators’ 2013-14 basketball schedule

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Gators will open the upcoming Southeastern Conference basketball season at home Jan. 8 against South Carolina and end it two months later at home March 8 against Kentucky.
 
The SEC released its schedule Tuesday, thus putting the finishing touches on the Gators’ 2013-14 slate, which looms as one of the most attractive, competitive and, yes, difficult in program history.
 
Again.
 
UF, which went 29-8 and advanced to the Elite Eight for a third straight year, gets its usual two games against Kentucky (with its top-rated recruiting class) and two against Tennessee (which already is being hailed as a top 20 team by many). There’s also a trip to Arkansas (for a third straight year), plus one to Ole Miss (which upset the Gators in the SEC Tournament title game).
 
The Feb. 4 game against Missouri at the O’Connell Center, Feb. 11 contest at Tennessee and Feb. 25 trip to Vanderbilt will be 9 p.m. tip-offs as part of ESPN’s Super Tuesday pact with the SEC.
 
UF will play three times on CBS, including a high-noon showdown against Kentucky in the final home game of the year.
 
The 18-game SEC schedule will follow a 13-game non-conference slate that includes road games at Wisconsin and Connecticut, home dates against Kansas and Florida State, plus a neutral site meeting with Memphis at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic.
 
UF will open the season Nov. 8 at home against North Florida, a Friday game that will likely precede Gator Growl on the eve of the football team’s homecoming date against Vanderbilt.
 
The schedule (starting times to be determined unless noted):
 
Nov. 1: Florida Southern (exhibition game), TBA

Nov. 8: North Florida, TBA  

Nov. 12: at Wisconsin, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)

Nov. 16: Arkansas Little-Rock, TBA

Nov. 18: Southern, TBA

Nov. 21:
Middle Tennessee State, TBA

Nov. 25: at Jacksonville, TBA

Nov. 29: Florida State, TBA

Dec. 2: at Connecticut, TBA

Dec. 10: Kansas (Big 12-SEC Challenge), 7 p.m. (ESPN)  

Dec. 17: vs. Memphis (Jimmy V Classic), New York, 9 p.m. (ESPN)  

Dec. 21:
vs. Fresno State (Orange Bowl Classic), Sunrise, Fla., TBA

Dec. 29:
Savannah State, TBA

Jan. 4: Richmond, TBA

Jan. 8: South Carolina, 7 p.m. (Comcast Sport Southeast)

Jan. 11: at Arkansas, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)  

Jan. 14: Georgia, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

Jan. 18: at Auburn, 4 p.m.  (SEC Network)

Jan. 23: at Alabama, 7 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2)

Jan. 25: Tennessee, 4 p.m. (ESPN2)  

Jan. 30: at Mississippi State, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)  

Feb. 1: Texas A&M, 4 p.m. (SEC Network)  

Feb. 4: Missouri, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Feb. 8: Alabama, noon (ESPN)  

Feb. 11: at Tennessee, 9 p.m. (ESPN)  

Feb. 15: at Kentucky, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Feb. 19: Auburn, 7 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)

Feb. 22:
at Ole Miss, noon (CBS)  

Feb. 25: at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. (ESPN)   

March 1:
LSU, 4 p.m. (CBS)

March 4:
at South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)

March 8: Kentucky (Senior Day), noon (CBS)  

March 12-16:
SEC Tournament (Atlanta)