The Carrier Classic is returning next year, despite multiple games being canceled due to hazardous conditions that appeared on the court. The Carrier Classic has succeeded in the past; however, this year, the teams that were affected by cancellations suffered, especially the Florida Gators.
Florida looked good against a talented Georgetown team and most likely would have won the game by a decent margin. The SEC is generally seen as weaker than the Big East because the latter consistently has more tournament teams than the former every year. Florida would have come away very confident from a victory over an talented NCAA Tournament-bound Big East team like the Hoyas, and even though the Gators were picked to finish second in the SEC, they will need every victory they can get in an extremely talented SEC East.
If Georgetown pulls a few upsets later in the season, Florida would have looked much better for defeating the Hoyas. An early-season victory could be the difference between a fifth and fourth seed in the NCAA tournament. I still expect the Gators to be a top-three seed, but they are habitual underachievers and until Florida destroys a decent road team (circle back to back away games versus Florida State and #12 Arizona in December), it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what the Gators are capable of achieving.
The Carrier Classic hurt Florida because they have to wait until November 14th to start the season. The Gators demolished Alabama State, as expected, but the game was basically another exhibition game. This Wednesday, November 14th, the Gators play #22 Wisconsin at home – their first real test of the season. If Florida loses, many will point to the canceled Carrier Classic game, saying the Gators were not as prepared for a test as they would have been if they had played the full game against Georgetown. Hopefully, Florida is good enough to beat Wisconsin without a warm-up game.