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The Second Place Scenario: How the Georgia Bulldogs Can Earn a First-Round Bye in the SEC Basketball Tournament

The Georgia Bulldogs were winners last night. No, I don’t mean that literally. Well, yeah, I do mean that literally, but I mean it figuratively, as well. The latest S-curve has the Fox Hounds as the third of the ten seeds after their 20-point victory over the LSU Tigers pulled the Red and Black into a three-way tie with the Kentucky Wildcats and the Vanderbilt Commodores for second place in the SEC East. All three teams stand at 9-6 in conference play, a game and a half ahead of the fifth-place Tennessee Volunteers (7-7).

When I wrote the latest rooting guide last night and set it to post this morning, I was conceding second and third place in the division to Kentucky and Vanderbilt, so my picks in conference games were based on (a) keeping the Volunteers in fifth place and (b) preserving the value of the Bulldogs’ road win over the Big Orange. In light of UGAVike’s comment, though, I now think better of that shortsighted position.

The following pertinent games remain on the slate:

Here is what we need to have happen:

  1. Georgia beats Alabama to finish 10-6.
  2. Florida beats Vanderbilt to strand the Commodores at 9-7. (Why does every scenario require us to root for the Gators at some point?)
  3. Tennessee beats Kentucky to strand the Wildcats at 9-7, with the added bonus of adding luster to our win over the Vols.
  4. Although it isn’t necessary, it would be a bonus for the Big Orange to beat the Palmetto State Poultry, too, to leave Tennessee at 9-7, as well, giving the Bulldogs wins over two of the three SEC East teams tied for third place at 9-7.

Of course, all of this presupposes a Red and Black win in Tuscaloosa on Saturday; absent that, we need Tennessee to finish no better than 8-8 in conference play to avoid all possibility of dropping down into fifth place, which may mean it’s better for us for the Volunteers to lose in Columbia tonight, just to remove all risk of the Bulldogs falling below fourth place.

Oh, for crying out loud, I don’t know! I just want Georgia to win, really. What do you think?

Go ‘Dawgs!