Georgetown (3-0) faces No. 18 Florida (2-1) in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis, a tournament that has sent its last three winners to the big dance.
Georgetown's first test
The Hoyas have won their first three games by an average of 17 points and will try to go 4-0 for the first time in four years. On the surface that sounds impressive, but it loses its luster when you see their first three opponents: St. Francis (NY), Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Robert Morris. For the first time this season, Georgetown may have its hands full as it heads to the Bahamas to take on the reigning SEC Champion Florida Gators. Fortunately for Georgetown, it will face a new-look Florida.
After making the Final Four for the first time since winning back-to-back National Championships in 2006 and 2007, the Gators had to reset after losing four starters to graduation. They returned starting guard Michael Frazier, two Class of 2013 Top 15 recruits in Casey Hill and Chris Walker and the SEC's Sixth Man of the Year in Dorian Finney-Smith. They also added three ESPN Top 100 recruits to boot. Florida looked all but certain to reload and contend for the SEC title once more.
But the season has not started as planned. Florida suspended Chris Walker for the first two games for violating team rules. The NCAA also stepped in and would not allow Top 100 recruit Brandone Francis to play this season due to academic issues. On top of suspensions, the injury bug has also bitten Florida. Starters Dorian Finney-Smith and Eli Carter, two of the team's top three leading scorers, have missed a combine three games this season. This roster shuffling has led to a loss versus rival Miami and a near loss to UL Monroe in overtime. As Finney-Smith and Carter are unlikely to play, the Gators enter the Battle 4 Atlantis with six scholarship players.
X-Factor: Battle on the block
With the additions of Miami transfer Joshua Smith and ESPN Top 100 recruit L.J. Peak, the Hoyas have reacquired its trademark imposing frontcourt. The Hoyas shot over 49 percent and grabbed more than 39 rebounds in each of their first three games. They had a plus 27 rebound advantage in that span. For the Gators, it's simple. If they win the boards they win the game. In their two wins, they outrebounded their opponent by a combined 21 boards. In their only loss, Florida lost the rebounding edge by 3. Look for this to be one of those grind-it-out games where the game is won in the paint.