The Georgia Bulldogs are not officially in the NCAA tournament field. But with a strong showing against undefeated Kentucky and a win over Auburn last week they reached the 20 win plateau and earned a 3 seed (and double bye) in the SEC tournament later this week. With a couple of strong out-of-conference wins, and more importantly no really bad OOC losses, it is safe to say that it would be surprising at this point to see the Hoop Hounds left out of the March Madness field.
It is with that context that we move with minimal trepidation to looking at where the Red and Black might land in the tournament field. While the 'Dawgs generally handled business this week, they didn't get a lot of help from others. I'm looking at you, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. The Aggies and Rebels both finished up the regular season with losses, dropping themselves out of the RPI top 50, and unceremoniously taking Georgia's two top 50 RPI wins with them. Thanks guys.
SB Nation's own Chris Dobbertean cited this in his bracket discussion, and slots the 'Dawgs in at #11 in the Columbus regional (opening against SMU). That seems a little low to me, but if the Classic City Canines unceremoniously bow out of the conference tournament without a victory, it sounds about right. CBS Sports also has the Bulldogs and Mustangs meeting, albeit in a 7/10 game. I find it easier to buy Georgia as a 10 than top 15 RPI SMU as a 7 seed. The 'Stangs will be higher than that, which is why I think Fox & Company miss them unless the SEC tournament is a disaster.
ESPN's Joe Lunardi projects the Bulldogs as the lower seed in an 8/9 matchup in Pittsburgh with the Ohio State Buckeyes. While the Nuts enter the Big Ten tournament off a blowout loss to Wisconsin, they sport a 22-9 overall record and played some good basketball during conference play. For example, they'd won three in a row before that regrettable rabid Badger attack. Add in the specter of a lot of Ohioans tripping to the Steel City and creating a Buckeye-friendly atmosphere, and you have a pairing I do not want.
Though to be honest, as a Georgia basketball fan, I'd just be happy to be in the Big Dance. Will I change my tune if the Red and Black manage to bow out painfully before anyone knows they were there? Of course. That's what March Madness is about. You know, that and gambling. Until later....