Florida is poised to give its fans what they’ve been clamoring for: a lottery game with the highest-rated winner, and the best team to win it.
The state’s top basketball team, the Gators, are set to play host to No. 10 Florida State on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
ET at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
The Gators, ranked No. 5 in the AP poll and No. 2 in the final ESPN/USA Today coaches poll, have been on a tear this season, scoring 30 or more points in three of their last four games.
They’ve also won their last five games, including a five-game winning streak over Florida State, which fell to No and No 1 Clemson on Monday.
Florida has won seven of its last eight games, but the Seminoles are also off to their best start since the 2008-09 season.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said in a conference call Monday that he expects the Gators to be in good shape after their recent loss to No, 3 Clemson.
“It’s just a matter of them being consistent,” Fisher said.
“They’re playing with more confidence.
They’re playing in their own zone.
They want to win.
They just need a lot more consistency.”
The Seminoles, ranked second in the country in total offense, are coming off a 48-48 overtime win over No. 15 Kentucky on Saturday.
The last time Florida beat a ranked opponent on the road was in 2011, when the Gators won the national championship in front of a sold-out crowd of 20,622 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Fisher said the Gators have been able to take advantage of the team’s lack of turnovers.
“We’ve got to be consistent,” he said.
“[We] don’t have a lot of turnovers and a lot fewer turnovers than we normally do.”
The Gators have lost two games this season against No. 1 Florida, losing both.
Florida also faces No. 12 Texas on Thursday, and has lost two straight games in Texas, including last weekend’s 54-43 loss to Texas A&M.
“The last couple weeks we haven’t been able in the last couple games to win a game,” Fisher added.
“Now we have a good look to get it done.”
For the second straight week, the Florida State game will be played in Orlando, where the Seminole faithful will be able to see a team that will be looking to earn the No. 3 seed in the tournament.
Florida will play at the Citrus Stadium on the first weekend of the ACC tournament, which kicks off at 1 p.t. on Friday.
The ACC Tournament will feature two games: No. 13 Syracuse (17-5) at No. 20 Virginia (20-5), and No: 23 Duke (17.5-6).