Neither sleet, nor stomach flu, nor dark of night could keep the Georgia Bulldogs from their appointed victory over Mississippi State.
I wish I could say the same. Georgia fell behind 22-8 and went the first 6 minutes of the game without a field goal. The 6 minute mark was about the point at which I lost power in my home, and with it track of what was going on in Starkville.
Given where things stood when I left the action to fight the elements, you can imagine my surprise to learn that the Hoop Hounds, paced by Charles Mann's 19 points, downed the Bizarro Bulldogs by a decisive 75-55 score Thursday evening.
Saddled with a team-wide case of stomach flu, and forced to bus in from Columbus, Mississippi, Coach Fox's charges looked prepared to mail this one in. Down big in the first half, Coach Fox used very nearly his entire lineup, and igniting a 20-5 run to end the half and secure a 28-27 victory. The 'Dawgs were in control from there.
With the win Georgia climbed to 13-10 overall and 7-4 in conference. It was also the Bulldogs' first conference road win since they opened the SEC slate with a surprise victory over Missouri. Saturday the Red and Black will return to action in Athens to take on Ole Miss in a battle for sole possession of third place in the SEC. If you thought you'd be reading those words in mid-February, you're a better college basketball psychic than me. Because I'm pretty surprised to be typing them.
While the 'Dawgs are still a long, long shot for a tournament berth, an NIT appearance is not at all out of the question, along with a solid run in the SEC tournament. At this point every game left on the slate is winnable meaning that it's not out of the question for the 'Dawgs to reach 20 wins on the season. Who would have thunk it? Until later . . .