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Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's Georgia-Auburn to tip off the SEC tourney

Georgia finally knows it's SEC tournament bracket: The Bulldogs will be the fourth seed out of the East and play Auburn at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Georgia Dome. The winner of that game gets Alabama on Friday at 1 p.m.

Auburn (11-19) had been the worst major-conference teams in the country, but finished by winning its final two games and took Georgia to overtime in Athens last month.

Georgia (20-10, 9-7) could have been the fifth seed, but Kentucky won at Tennessee to push the Volunteers to the fifth seed.

The Bulldogs finish in a tie with Vanderbilt for third, behind Florida and Kentucky.

Still, this is the first time since 2003 that Georgia did not finish fifth or sixth in the East. For perspective, here are its records and finishes since then:

2004: 7-9, tied for sixth
2005: 2-14, sixth
2006: 5-11, sixth
2007: 8-8, fifth
2008: 4-12, sixth
2009: 3-13, sixth
2010: 5-11, sixth

Meanwhile, it remains debatable how important the SEC tournament is for Georgia's NCAA tournament hopes. Some will say the Bulldogs are in, some will argue they need a win.'s Joe Lunardi moved Georgia to his "first four out" after Saturday's loss at Alabama; but Jerry Palm of, in a projected bracket he posted on Sunday morning, has Georgia as a No. 9 seed.

Head coach Mark Fox took to Twitter to re-state his team's case on Sunday:

"Regular season complete. Committee always talks body of work... 20-10, top 40 RPI & SOS, winning record in SEC & on road, no bad losses."

Fox has 5,500 followers, but I’m not sure if any of the selection committee members are among them.

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