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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New bubble watch: Georgia

Georgia’s double-overtime loss to Florida on Tuesday could end up just being a painful footnote on this season. Or, coupled with last week’s home loss to Tennessee, the two home losses might be viewed as the missed opportunities that cost the Bulldogs.

That depends on what happens from here out. The best guess at this point, and it’s an educated guess, is that Georgia will need a 9-7 SEC regular season record, a win over Xavier, and at least one win in Atlanta to feel comfortable going into selection Sunday.

The problem is, in the arduous East Division, Georgia has now played Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida at home and only gone 1-2. So the path to nine wins now may have to include a near-sweep of the West, perhaps a sweep of South Carolina, and a home win over Vanderbilt.

That still may not take care of the quality-win index, so the Bulldogs may need to steal some road wins over those tough Eastern foes.

Like, say, Saturday at Kentucky.

Despite all that, we at the Wannabe Lunardi Blog remain optimistic about Georgia’s chances. We’re still looking at numbers that are generally in the Bulldogs’ favor, with a schedule that’s difficult, but doable. (And that Xavier game is looming very, very large right now.)

The current breakdown:

Record: 14-5 overall, 3-3 in the SEC
RPI: 47
SOS: 49
Record vs. top 50 in RPI: 1-5 (beat Kentucky, lost to Notre Dame, Temple, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Florida)
Record vs. top 100: 4-5 (also beat UAB, Colorado and Mississippi)

What happened Tuesday:
Besides Georgia’s own loss, former opponent Colorado fell at home to Kansas, and the Buffaloes are now 89 in the RPI. On the plus side of the ledger, as we begin to look at other at-large hopefuls Marquette fell at home to UConn and Virginia Tech lost at Georgia Tech.

What to watch Wednesday and Thursday: UAB, which has slipped to 52 in the RPI, hosts Marshall. Temple and Xavier each have home games they should win.

On Thursday, Vanderbilt plays at Mississippi State. When it comes to the pure numbers and resume’ Georgia should probably be rooting for Vandy. Never mind the division race – not because Georgia is out of it yet, but because it doesn’t matter for the NCAA tournament. The fact the Bulldogs play Vandy twice does.

Next up for Georgia: The visit to Kentucky (Saturday at 4 p.m.) still sets up as a game where the Bulldogs have more to gain than lose. But the events of last week now mean the Bulldogs need quality wins more than ever.


matt b. said...

Too many opportunities missed last night. The team came out flat in the 2nd half, and that is what really hurt them.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we have played Vanderbilt at home...I think you meant to say Florida. Last night hurt.

Seth Emerson said...

Thanks, fixed it.

Anonymous said...

The play of the game came on the Florida inbounds. Why was the UGA player (can't remeber who he was) trailing Walker on the in bounds? If he keeps him in front of him, he would not be able to run half way down the court and get the 3 ball off. Just horrible execution/decision in the last few seconds.

UGA players played hard. Sorry to see it end like that. That's two games they should have won against East foes. Hang in there guys.

Anonymous said...

Tough loss last night! Way too many turnovers and missed free throws. Folks, that is why they call them FREE! We are getting close to becoming a really good team, but we need to work on the details of the game.

stevo said...

Three observations...
1. Coach Fox was livid with the foul calls which was to be expected with the blown shot clock call and over the back last week. You would have thought Florida was the home team.
2. Trey Thompkins is getting into a groove since his missed time at the start of the season.
3. Get Chris Barnes some of those wide receiver gloves or glue.
I really enjoy watching the team compete. Go Dawgs!

Anonymous said...

Free throws and lack of production from the 2 seniors is what will keep this team out of the dance.

Anonymous said...

Why can't Jeremy Price make a layup?