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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday morning stories, and hoops update

Oxford, Ala. - Why does this have an Oxford dateline? Because the rain was so bad on the way home from Tuscaloosa that your intrepid correspondent was forced to stop for the night. But before I complete the journey to Athens, a few notes:

- Here's my game story from Georgia's loss Saturday at Alabama.

Mark Fox remained steadfast about his team's NCAA chances:

“If it’s the body of work, like they talk about every year, then we’ll see. But we obviously can’t rest on our laurels right now.”

The loss dropped Georgia's RPI rank to 40, which is still solid territory, but I think that first-round game is pretty important now.

And who will that first-round game be against? We'll know after the Tennessee-Kentucky game, which is at noon. The two scenarios:

- If the Vols win, then Georgia is pushed to the fifth seed and will play Arkansas at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday. The winner of that game goes on to face Florida in the quarterfinals.

- If the Vols lose, then Georgia is the fourth seed and will play Auburn at 1 p.m. on Thursday. The winner of that game goes on to face Alabama in the quarterfinals.

Still, Georgia is ensured of at least finishing in a tie for second place in the East. That's pretty good for a program that's finished fifth or sixth the past six years.

- One more note: Alabama's RPI is now 80, jumping 10 spots after beating Georgia. This is why the Crimson Tide are becoming the most intriguing team for selection Sunday. Yes, no SEC team that was eligible has ever been left out with 11 league wins or more, and Alabama has 11. But no team with an RPI below 65 has made it as an at-large since the RPI began being tracked. Alabama lost to St. Peter's, Providence, Iowa and Oklahoma State, and beat nobody out of conference.

But let's say Georgia plays Alabama again in the quarterfinals, and Alabama wins again, then loses in the semifinals. At that point, it would be tough to argue that Georgia belongs in and Alabama doesn't. Does that help both teams, or hurt?

- Finally, as we approach the start of spring practice, here's another update for you on Georgia's strength and conditioning program, this time centered on the nutrition changes.

“The first week people kind of didn’t know what to expect. But now you might be away by yourself, and you’ve got a chance to eat McDonald’s, and you don’t do it,” Boykin said. “Because you’re dedicated to your body, and I think people are really buying into it right now.”

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