Mark Fox's Georgia Bulldogs take a big step up in weight class tonight as they take on #10 Gonzaga in the NIT Tip-Off tournament from Madison Square Garden. Things get under way at 9:30 p.m. eastern on ESPN2 and across the
Bulldog Sports Radio Network.
TheBulldogs from the Pacific Northwest (I'm going to call them the Zags from here on out) are coming off back-to-back 50+ point wins over respectable Atlantic 10 foe St. Joseph's and Division II St. Thomas Aquinas. They'll be without question the best team that Mark Fox's Hoop Hounds have faced all season, and the best they'll likely face at least until taking on Florida at Stegeman on January 17th.
The Zags are experienced, deep, and big. They'll start three seniors on the perimeter led by point man Kevin Pangos, who's averaging 10.3 points and 5.8 assists per game. Inside they'll feed the ball to 6'10 forward Kyle Wiltjer (13.0 ppg/5.5 rpg) and 7'1, 280 pound junior center Przemek Karnowski (9.0 ppg/5.8 rpg). If Georgia holds the edge in rebounding at the conclusion of this one, Nema, Thornton and the rest of our (relative) bigs will have done a solid night's work.
Georgia is a 12 point underdog if such things are germane to your interests, and staying inside of a dozen points of the Zags would be a pretty solid effort. A win would be huge for Georgia's confidence and postseason hopes, providing a signature out-of-conference win. That could be critical given the tragicomic results we've seen so far from some of the SEC teams we'll be squaring off against shortly.
Feel free to use this as your open comment thread for tonight's matchup, or whatever else needs talking about. Until later . . .