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Bucs headed to Orlando to face Gators in NCAAs

JOE AVENTO, Johnson City Press • Mar 13, 2017 at 12:45 AM

JOHNSON CITY — The speculation is over. East Tennessee State will play Florida in the first round of the NCAA tournament, and the game will be in the Gators’ backyard in Orlando.

ETSU is the 13th seed in the East Region and the Gators are seeded fourth. The game will be played Thursday at 3:10 p.m. at Amway Center, the home of the Orlando Magic, and will be televised on truTV.

“It feels surreal, man,” Bucs point guard Desonta Bradford said Sunday inside a packed Millennium Centre ballroom, where more than 1,000 ETSU supporters came to watch the “NCAA Selection Show” on CBS with the team. “Playing in the NCAA tournament is something we’ve dreamed about since we were kids. I’m still speechless.”

ETSU, the Southern Conference champion, will take a 27-7 record into the game. Florida is 24-8 and finished second in the Southeastern Conference’s regular-season standings before being upset by Vanderbilt in the tournament’s quarterfinals.

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