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‘Dawgs take on Gators with pride on the line

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Auburn
Two conference wins. It’s a reachable goal.
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Once again Tom Crean and his Georgia Bulldogs are looking to establish some momentum on the hardwood as they take on the Florida Gators in Athens.

The early SEC schedule has not been kind to the Hoop Hounds, losers of three of their first four conference games. To be fair, from a strength of schedule standpoint, it has likely been the toughest four-game conference opening slate in school history. Not optimal for a young team losing its top player from 2017-2018 and learning a new system.

The truth is that the SEC became a very good basketball conference at a very bad time for the Georgia Bulldogs. Also, it appears that Greg McGarity forgot to send someone at the league office a pricey bottle of hooch before they made out the schedule. At least that’s the explanation I’m going with.

Today’s game is as close to a respite as we are going to get. The Gators (9-7, 1-3 SEC) come to town having also dropped three of four to open the conference schedule, including a 71-68 defeat at #24 Mississippi State on Tuesday.

Mike White’s squad is led by senior guard KeVaughn Allen, averaging 11.7 points per game, and senior center Kevarrius Hayes (6.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg). The Gators have athletes both young and experienced. But like the ‘‘Dawgs they’ve struggled against good basketball teams, and unfortunately they’ve played a lot of good basketball teams in and out of conference.

This is a winnable game, and one that will go a long way toward establishing the pecking order in the SEC. Plus, I hate Florida. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that previously.

Tipoff is at noon on CBS. Until later...

Go ‘‘Dawgs!!!