All right, it’s time to get over being jobbed by the officials against the Tennessee Volunteers on Tuesday and focus instead on the Georgia Bulldogs’ next opponent, the Mississippi St. Bulldogs. The Classic City Canines’ loss earlier in the week makes Saturday’s home game a virtual must-win if the Red and Black are to remain in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament berth.
Through the season’s first 17 games for both squads, the Western Division Bulldogs trailed the Eastern Division Bulldogs in scoring offense, scoring defense (in which MSU ranks eleventh in the conference, ahead of only the selfsame Mississippi Rebels whom the Red and Black routed), rebounding margin (in which MSU also ranks eleventh), steals (in which MSU also ranks eleventh; is there an echo in here?), and assists (in which MSU ranks tenth and Georgia leads the league).
Nevertheless, those numbers (like Mississippi State’s 10-7 record) are misleading, as much of the other Bulldogs’ season has been spent without Dee Bost, who missed playing time due to a suspension. I’m not entirely clear on the details surrounding the suspension, but I strongly suspect the NCAA-mandated punishment arose from the same set of circumstances that caused Bost to be in jail in Ogalalla waiting to be hanged when his former wife, Elmyra, arrived with a pair of fur traders while her current husband, Fort Smith sheriff July Johnson, and his deputy, Roscoe Brown, were off searching for Jake Spoon.
No, wait, that was Dee Boot; truly my bad. It turns out that Dee Bost missed the deadline for withdrawing from NBA Draft consideration. Hey, it happens.
Upon his return from the penalty box, Bost contributed to a win over Ole Miss and another win over the Auburn Tigers, earning SEC player of the week honors in the process. In short, Dee Bost is the most popular controversy-causing figure in Starkville this side of Taylor
The hometown Bulldogs should have their opportunities to score against the visiting Bulldogs, as Mississippi State has allowed 64 or more points to seven of their last eight opponents, including each of the last five. Georgia, on the other hand, has held six of the last nine teams it has faced under 60 points. Accordingly, I believe one of the key factors in deciding this game will be whether the Classic City Canines can score more points against the Magnolia State Mongrels than they allow. (Face it, folks, that’s a level of in-depth basketball analysis you can’t get just any ol’ place.)
Tip-off in Athens is set for 4:00 p.m. this Saturday. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. Tickets to the game are still available.