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Georgia enters NIT second round an underdog to St. Mary's

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Fox's #3 seeded Bulldogs will travel to Moraga, California this evening for a 7:30 Eastern (4:30 Pacific) matchup with the #2 seeded St. Mary's Gaels on ESPNU. Don't know a lot about the Gaels? You could be forgiven for that. Here's a short primer.

  • The Bulldogs have never faced St. Mary's before.
  • The Gaels finished the regular season with an impressive 28-5 record, 15-3 in conference.
  • The conference in question is the West Coast Conference, whose most prominent members besides St. Mary's include Gonzaga and Brigham Young.
  • Actor Brian Doyle-Murray attended the school. Boom.
  • The Gaels have a strong connection with Australia, recruit the nation hard, and their current roster boasts two Aussie starters, junior forward Dane Pineau (the team's leading rebounder) and sophomore guard Emmett Naar.
  • Naar is the Gaels leading scorer, dropping 14.2 points per game.
  • The Gaels are coached by Randy Bennett, who's amassed 332 wins in a successful 15 year career at St. Mary's.
  • The Gaels are shooting a solid 50.9% on the season.
  • They're also allowing a stingy 60.8 points per game.

Georgia enters as a 7 point underdog, but has a chance to pull this one out if, and only if, they shoot the ball well against a St. Mary's squad which has shown it can score in droves. The Hoop Hounds will need to have one of their good shot selection nights and stay out of foul trouble on the defensive end. But if that happens, I like their chances. Until later . . .

Go 'Dawgs!!!