NCAA Bracket 2012: How Florida Basketball Got To March Madness

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 09: Bradley Beal #23 of the Florida Gators looks to pass the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide during their quarterfinal game in the 2012 SEC Men's Basketball Conference Tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The Gators have the talent to make another deep run in the Tournament, but their inconsistent outside shooting may prove costly in March.

Despite losing Chandler Parsons and Vernon Macklin to the NBA, the addition of McDonald's All-American Bradley Beal to go with a strong core of returning players had expectations high in Gainesville, and Florida started out the year ranked No. 7 in the country.

The Gators finished the year ranked No. 13 with a 22-9 record, winning and losing the games they were expected to win and lose. They defeated Arizona and Florida State but came up short against Syracuse and Ohio State in non-conference play.

They held serve at home in the SEC, with their only home losses coming to Tennessee and Kentucky.

Their roster is lined with future NBA players, with two -- Beal and 6-foot-9, 245-pound Patric Young -- projected to go in the first round. However, their inconsistent shooting from the perimeter and their guards' insistence on bombing away have repeatedly come back to haunt them against top competition this season.

The Gators entered the 2012 SEC Tournament as the No. 4 seed. They defeated Alabama 66-63 in quarterfinal action and gave top-seeded Kentucky a fight in the semis before ultimately falling 74-71.

Last year, the Gators lost to Butler 74-71 in the Elite Eight. They have the talent to go back, but they'll need a better all-around effort than they've gotten all season to advance out of the NCAA Tournament's second weekend.

Florida was awarded the No. 7 seed in the West Region on Selection Sunday and will face Virginia in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

Join our 2012 NCAA Bracket pool to compete against the best and brightest from around the network.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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