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Thursday, February 17, 2011

New bubble watch: Georgia needs a road win

There was a lot of frustration at the end of Georgia’s loss to Vanderbilt on Wednesday night: Mark Fox’s technical, fans throwing things, etc. I don’t know so much that it was the officiating as it was yet another home loss, and another lost chance to validate the NCAA tournament resume’.

So how much of a hit was it to Georgia’s chances? It’s not as debilitating as, say, losing to Auburn would have been. The problem is the Bulldogs’ resume’ just remains the same as it was before Wednesday: A decent RPI and overall record, but a lack of quality wins. And it’s running out of chances to improve its resume'.

As has been stated before in this space, you can’t look at a team by itself and say “in” or “out.” It depends a lot on how the rest of the at-large field looks. And right now, it still looks very weak, which is why I still have Georgia’s chances at 50 percent. (If anybody has a good 50 percent graphic, send it my way.)

When Clemson – with an RPI of 72 and losses to South Carolina and Virginia – is considered on the bubble, then yes, Georgia still has a good chance.

If I had to guess right now, and without knowing how things will break down in the rest of the country, I’d say that Georgia needs to:

- Beat LSU and South Carolina at home, thus maintaining its perfect record against teams outside the RPI top 50 and 100, and
- Win one of the three remaining road games (Tennessee, Florida and Alabama).

That would leave the Bulldogs 9-7 entering the SEC tournament with a decent RPI, no bad losses and a few quality wins. But based on their inability to finish off teams the past few weeks, how optimistic can you be about winning one of those three crucial games?

Here’s the current resume’ breakdown:

Record: 17-8 overall, 6-5 in the SEC
RPI: 45
SOS: 36
Record vs. top 50 in RPI: 2-8 (beat Kentucky and UAB, lost to Notre Dame, Kentucky, Florida, Xavier, Vanderbilt twice, Tennessee and Temple)
Record vs. top 100: 4-8 (also beat Mississippi and Colorado)

What happened Wednesday: UAB lost at Memphis, but UAB (35 in the RPI) remains a good win for Georgia. A few bubble teams got good wins (Cincinnati may have stamped its ticket by beating Louisville), but a few others gagged (like St. Mary’s at woeful San Diego).

What to watch Thursday: Richmond (a bubble team) is at Temple (a former UGA opponent), so that 7 p.m. game is a key one for Georgia. The aforementioned Clemson is at struggling N.C. State.

Other bubble teams in action include Minnesota (at Penn State), Washington State (at No. 12 Arizona), Washington (at Arizona State), Gonzaga (vs. Santa Clara), Alabama (at LSU) and UCLA (at Stanford).

Up next for Georgia: Tennessee actually isn’t playing that well lately. The Vols had dropped three straight before struggling at home to beat South Carolina on Wednesday. And considering the way Florida is playing, Saturday’s game (which is at 1 p.m.) is probably Georgia’s best chance to get a win over the next week.


Bulldawg said...

We don't deserve to go to the NCAAs. Period.

Another disgraceful loss. Play some damn defense guys.

Just when i started to believe in UGA basketball, I'm reminded of UGA basketball.


Anonymous said...

I hope we make it. I think if the Dawgs pull off the home wins and one road win, then they are in.

Here's the thing, though. Right now, it is difficult to see Georgia winning a single game in the tourney. Still, better to go and lose in round 1 than win the NIT. All day long.

ropholdl said...

Bulldawg, you suck at being a fan. I guess you're done with football too?

BCSAV said...

I hate the NIT. I know its better than nothing and you get some shots on national TV but it doesn't excite me whatsoever. I don't see us winning 1 of those 3 road games, but if we can I like our odds to make the dance as unbelievable as that is to me.