The Florida Gators men's basketball team represents the University of Florida in the sport of basketball. The Gators compete in NCAA Division I and the Southeastern Conference. Home games are played in the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center on the university's Gainesville, Florida campus.
The University of Florida's first basketball team took the court in 1915, but success was scarce for many years. The program did not have an adequate gymnasium until the Florida Gymnasium in 1950, did not hire a full time basketball coach until Norm Sloan in 1960, and did not play in a modern arena until the O'Connell Center opened in 1980. Florida made its first postseason tournament appearance in the 1969 National Invitation Tournament and first appeared in the NCAA tournament in 1987, but consistent success was elusive, and the Gators often found themselves in the bottom half of the conference standings.
Florida's basketball program finally found consistent success under head coach Billy Donovan, who was hired in 1996.
Stephen C. O'Connell Center