Early this morning, I mentioned that the Diamond Dogs might be NCAA Tournament-bound despite being only one game over .500. How can a 21-20 team be considered a contender to make the field of 64? By getting to 21-20 against this schedule:
- Georgia opened the season with three straight losses to Stetson on February 18, 19, and 20. The Hatters (31-9) are ranked 17th nationally.
- The Red and Black followed that up by dropping two of three to Florida State on March 4 and 6, with a win over the Seminoles sandwiched between the two setbacks on March 5. The Tribe (31-10) checks in at No. 9 in the country.
- On March 11, the Athenians traveled to Los Angeles, where they claimed a 6-2 victory over UCLA. The Bruins (21-14) are ranked 24th in the land.
- The Bulldogs dropped decisions to South Carolina on March 19 and 20 after defeating the Gamecocks on March 18. The Palmetto State Poultry are the No. 2 team in the Baseball America poll.
- Georgia lost to Georgia Tech on March 22, then did so again on April 12. The Yellow Jackets are ranked twelfth.
- The Classic City Canines fell to Florida on April 15 and on April 17, but the Bulldogs beat the Gators on April 16. The Sunshine State Saurians are ranked No. 5.
- David Perno’s club has played 23 of its first 41 outings against teams that were ranked on the day of the game. Georgia went 10-13 in those games, giving the Diamond Dogs more wins over top 25 opponents than any other squad in the SEC. Ranked teams account for nearly half of the Athenians’ wins and nearly two-thirds of the Red and Black’s losses.
The Bulldogs have 15 games remaining in the regular season, including one against No. 12 Georgia Tech, three against an Arkansas club that just dropped out of the Baseball America rankings, three against an Auburn outfit that ranks twelfth in RPI and second in strength of schedule by Warren Nolan’s reckoning, and three against No. 4 Vanderbilt. If Georgia makes it through this schedule with a winning record, it will have earned a spot in the NCAA Regionals.