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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Where things stand: Georgia's hoops resume'

Mark Fox pointed out a few weeks ago that his Georgia men’s basketball team doesn’t have a bad loss. And it still doesn’t, though not for an apparent lack of trying, judging by all the close calls.

Still, while not rolling over opponents, the Bulldogs are at least rolling up wins, and have a good chance to be 11-2 once SEC play begins.

And in case you didn’t notice, not having any bad losses puts Georgia in elite company in the SEC.

Tennessee, which for awhile ranked No. 1 in the RPI, just dropped consecutive games to Oakland and Charlotte. Suffice to say, the Vols no longer rank No. 1 in the RPI.

Florida (8-2) just beat Kansas State for an impressive win, but it also owns a loss to Central Florida. Yes, UCF is still one of the nation’s lone unbeaten teams, but still.

Every team in the West has at least one embarrassing loss. Ole Miss may be the class of that division right now, but the Rebels (7-2) don’t own a quality win, unless you count Penn State. And I don’t.

Then there’s Auburn, which at this point may welcome the NCAA vacating its entire season. How bad are the Tigers? Their RPI rank as of Sunday was 328 – out of 348 teams in Division I. The Tigers have lost at home to Presbyterian, UNC Asheville, Samford, Campbell and Jacksonville. The two teams they did beat are a combined 3-17.

Auburn by itself may drag down the SEC’s rank in the RPI one or two spots. Seriously, the Tigers are that bad. I can imagine every SEC coach with an NCAA-quality team being on the phone to Mike Slive, begging him to connect Cecil Newton to the Tigers’ basketball program. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear the Tigers have anybody who is worth more than a scholarship.)

Back to the East:

South Carolina (7-2) has on paper the league’s most acceptable two losses, on the road to Ohio State and Michigan State. But the young Gamecocks were thoroughly thumped in both games, and pretty much non-competitive on Saturday at Ohio State. The Gamecocks don’t really own a quality win yet, unless you count Clemson and Western Kentucky. I don’t.

Vanderbilt (8-2) has largely taken care of business, losing just to Missouri and West Virginia, while knocking off North Carolina and others.

Kentucky (8-2) has losses are to Connecticut and North Carolina. It also defeated Notre Dame on a neutral court, which Georgia did not.

So basically, the East has been respectable, with some rather large blemishes courtesy of Tennessee.

What does this mean for Georgia? It means if the Bulldogs, whose current RPI rank is 48, can take care of business the next four games, then its NCAA resume’ should be in solid shape when Kentucky comes to town on Jan. 8.

So far, the Bulldogs haven’t done anything to really make a statement. But they also haven’t hurt themselves. And the way things have gone in the SEC, that in itself may be enough of a statement.

1 comment:

BCSAV said...

Like you said, nothing bad has happened yet. But I thought this team would be sharper and more dominant at this point. Free throws and rebounding have to get a lot better. Thanks Seth for the Bball coverage!