The University of Florida and Florida State had very different outcomes to close the regular season on Saturday, but both wound up in the same position with the same overall and conference records: the second seed in their respective conference tournaments with 12-6 records (24-7 overall) and a double-bye.

 

The 12th-ranked Gators blew a 12-point lead and lost to Vanderbilt for the fourth time in a row under coach Mike White, 73-71 at Memorial Gym in Nashville, Tenn. Florida already had the second seed in the SEC tournament clinched and will return to the Music City on Friday to play a quarterfinal game at 7 p.m.


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There, the Gators might draw the Commodores for the third time this season. UF will play the winner of a Thursday game between seventh-seeded Vandy (17-14, 10-8) and No. 10 Texas A&M (16-14, 8-10).

White said the Gators will use the practice time before the tournament trying to clean up on the turnovers, which have gotten problematic.

“We’ve gotten turnover happy the last four or five games. We hurt our defense,” White said. “Defensively, when we were set, our guys played their hearts out and did a lot of good things, but they got 17 from us just throwing them the ball.”

The 15th-ranked Seminoles earned their second seed in the ACC tournament in Brooklyn by beating Miami for the second time this season, 66-57 at home. That in itself didn’t clinch the seed for FSU, but when Louisville beat Notre Dame earlier in the day, the door was open and the ‘Noles won a three-way tie-breaker with the Cardinals and the Irish.

FSU will play at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Virginia Tech will face the winner of a game between Wake Forest and Boston College on Wednesday, and the winner of that game draws the Seminoles.

Florida State matched its highest seeding in the ACC tournament since 1993, its second season in the ACC. FSU also went unbeaten at home (18-0) for the first time since 1975-76, set a school record for regular-season victories and tied the school record for ACC victories.

Coach Leonard Hamilton said the window to enjoy those milestones will be short, given the task at hand this week.

“I think we are making progress, but in order to break into that hierarchy of traditionally rich programs in the ACC, we have to keep everything in perspective,” Hamilton said. “Let’s see where we finish. We are not done yet. We still have ways to go, and we want to make sure we milk this season for all that we can get out of it. We know we still have some work to do. We can play better than what we have played.”

The Gators and Seminoles remain on a path to Orlando for the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 16. Two bracket experts, Joe Lunardi of ESPN and Jerry Palm of CBS Sports, have UF and FSU as fourth seeds at the Amway Center, with both slotting the ‘Noles in the West regional and Lunardi putting the Gators in the East and Palm in the South.

Lunardi has UF playing Monmouth and FSU going against Bucknell. Palm is putting UF against Akron and FSU against Princeton.