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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.


Anonymous said...

At this point do we even want the Dawgs to make it to the Tourney?

I feel like if by some miracle we made it we would just embarrass ourselves in the first game (kind of like we did tonight).

GreenDawg said...

I don't consider a close loss to a top 20 team embarrassing, no matter how we played. This team is worn out, and lacks depth, but if they can catch a few days rest and play decent defense they can play with just about anybody save the very top teams. Don't discount this team's chances to make a decent run if they make the dance.

Rick said...

Making the tourney would be a great step forward for this program. Have you all forgotten that this team had a losing record last year, or that we were absolutely terrible during the Dennis Felton years? (where we had one SEC tourney run and that's about it)

Jesus people, it's like you want this team to win the NCAA tourney and nothing else will do. You fickle fans need to have more realistic expectations and embrace the positive improvement the basketball program has shown over the last two years. Hell, we're selling out games at Stegeman and people are actually excited about basketball!

I'm thinking most of these complainers are just football fans who don't know a damn thing about college basketball and having nothing to whine about until late August. This is probably their first season even following the team because they happen to be having a little bit of success.

Take your b**ching and moaning elsewhere and let us true fans root for the Dawgs.

'Nuff Said.

Anonymous said...

Wow, 'Nuff said please share your expectations for the basketball team! Blowing a 23 and 14 point leads? Failing to foul a 3 point shooter at the end of the game? Failing to win a game that counts? With the talent we have this team should be MUCH better than they are! Please enlighten us "football fans that don't know a damn thing about basketball".

BulldogBen said...

Really Rick? You played the "true fans" card?

I dig your passion but come on man.

For what it's worth I haven't heard anyone (even the plethora of irrational posters) say we should win the NCAA tourney. I do think making the tourney was/is a totally realistic goal this year. To watch us lose the 3 home games against Vandy, UF, and UT when we were up in ALL THREE in the 2nd half (up 8 with 3 minutes to go against UF) has been frustrating for everyone who pulls for the Dawgs.

Certainly a cause for concern and worth coming here to vent some frustration.

Anonymous said...

no comment on this allbarn fiasco? or will that be the next blog post?

Cartter Fontaine said...

Has anyone considered that our basketball team starts to suck so bad towards the end of the 2nd half because of that idiot who dresses up as Rocky. Maybe our players get so embarrassed to be associated with such a moron that they lose their focus on the game. Rocky needs to go away, he isn't helping out team, no one likes him, and he is downright obnoxious. He may be a huge fan, but he makes the entire University of Georgia look stupid. DOWN WITH ROCKY.

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.


Al said...

Keep cutting and pasting that same comment Cartter. It makes you look really cool and intelligent.

ugavet said...

The improvement over last year is certainly encouraging. I have been to one game and watched most of the others. Our starting 5 is good and gives us hope. Fading in the second half is frustrating, but may be due to a lack of depth coming off the bench. Still would like to make it to the Tourney,just to highlight the progress.

Anonymous said...

Im tired of "We are making improvements". Hell we've been making improvements since the birth of Methuselah. I wanna see wins with heart ,guts ,blood, sweat and tears. No more excuses and please quit blaming the officials. Our players stood around and you could just see the no quit in Vandy. To the mamby pamby fans like Rick..... go pull for your local T ball league where the score doesnt matter.

Cartter Fontaine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Al said...

I'm not trying to start a fight. I'm just noting your lack of contribution. Blaming the team's suckitude on Rocky guy is semi-funny the first time, but repeating the same post verbatim just makes you look a little too much like the Bulldogs Blog "favorite" poster for my liking.
But hey, whatever floats your boat. Carry on.

Cartter Fontaine said...

I agree that the double post was no good, I erased the one from the previous story. When I posted it on the first one I realized soon after that Seth had already added a new post, and since most people on the internet these days (including myself) have the attention span of a 4 year old on crack baby, I copied the comment on the new post. I rarely post on here (because basically anything you say will get some ridiculous backlash) so I didnt want one of my few posts to sit unread for internet eternity. Seriously though, Rocky sucks. It stopped being amusing the 2nd time he did his little act, and we sucked last season when he was doing it too. Spedo Guy on the other hand doesnt seem to be desperately seeking approval and attention the way Rocky does. Thats why I saw Spedo Man on the opening of Sportscenter today, while Rocky continues to desperately try to make people at UGA like him. Time for him to hang up his gloves, Im tired of the second hand embarrassment he is causing in the closing minutes of every basketball game.

Adam said...

In my opinion, UF and UGA have the best starting 5's in the SEC. That said, the Gators have depth and maturity, two things that are sorely lacking with this Georgia team. Don't get me wrong, it is once again enjoyable to watch the team, and I do like the direction in which the program is headed, but it's just very frustrating watching a team underachieve, esp. knowing our top 6-7 players are solid.

Can't close out games against top opposition, questionable decision making, difficulty recovering from tough losses, constant foul trouble from the bigs, blaming outcomes on the refereeing, lack of a winning mentality, etc.

All signs that we're simply not ready to be considered among the great teams. I just hope we can slip into the Dance, get a tourney win and continue to take steps in the right direction as a program.

Anonymous said...

We need Bobby Knight. We'd be winning these close games.

Anonymous said...

You tell'em Mr Fontaine ! Like I said I wanna see some heart and even from sone of out mamby pamby fans. The excuses are getting a little old and it time to start seeing some real strides and results.... Sad Richards...

Anonymous said...

oops... some of our "mamby pamby" fans. Sad Richards