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Wednesday September 11, 2013 Big run this week on Gators hoops ticket packages with Kentucky, Kansas games

Updated: 11:14am, September 11

Billy D and Albert GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Season tickets and premium-game packages for one of the best home schedules in Florida basketball history are going fast.

The UF ticket office sold more than 800 three-game packages Tuesday -- the first day single-game seats went on sale -- for the Gators regular-season finale March 8 against Kentucky and another 600-plus for the pack that features a Dec. 10 showdown against powerhouse Kansas in ESPN’s Big 12/SEC Challenge.

The only way for Gators fans to get tickets to the Kentucky or Kansas games is through the special 3-game offer or by purchasing season tickets. Both UK and KU are expected to be top-5 teams, with the Jayhawks boasting freshman forward Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1-rated prospect in the nation last season.

Florida’s home schedule, the non-conference portion of which rated a 10 on a scale of 1-10 for degree of difficulty (tying for the toughest in the league along with Kentucky), also includes a Nov. 29 showdown with rival Florida State the night before the Gators-Seminoles football game, plus Southeastern Conference dates against Tennessee, Missouri and Alabama.

“This non-conference schedule is a beast,” wrote college basketball analyst Myron Medcalf. “Billy Donovan’s program might be the only legitimate obstacle in Kentucky’s path to the SEC crown and the Gators will face a variety of contenders before they collide with Kentucky and the rest of the league. The Kansas matchup could move Florida into a top-five ranking or higher if it gets the win.”

On Sept. 21, UF will host a Select-A-Seat event for basketball season tickets at the O’Connell Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in advance of the Florida-Tennessee football game, set for 3:30. The arena will be set up in basketball configuration, with available seats marked by colored tape signifying their price. Season-ticket holders can also swap out their current seats for better ones.

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