Georgia and Missouri will open play in the 2019 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 on the SEC Network. Georgia faces the same Mizzou squad that cruised into Athens a week ago and absolutely dominated a Rayshaun Hammonds -less squad, 64-39, followed by a South Carolina 20-point victory last Saturday. The win at Florida seems like a distant memory now. Any chance Tom Crean’s depleted Dawgs find some answers and show some pluck tonight to keep their season alive? Tonight is their post-season. Let’s party like it’s 1983, or 2008.
I think they can, but they’ll have to overcome some things first:
- The weather. The last time Georgia won this tourney was during the infamous (or, famous depending on your Dawgliness) 2008 “Tornado Tournament.” Is bad weather in the forecast this time around? I only ask because it would probably take another twister to change our fortunes, and the way this season has gone only a tornado might save us. However, if bad weather is to be our lucky charm, we’ll have to win tonight because severe weather is not expected. Some nasty cumulonimbus clouds might gather by tomorrow...but will we be playing? (For all you weather geeks, some positive vorticity advection with high CAPE and helicity profiles would be nice. Ain’t happening. Suck it, Cantore). However, if we win tonight, and Jim Cantore shows up wearing Red ‘n Black around 3:00 P.M. tomorrow, we’re gonna win the whole damn thing. Stranger things have happened:
On a scale of 1-10, the video quality is about a 4. But the memories go to 11...
- The aforementioned season-ending injury to Hammonds. When he’s on, he’s pretty good and his presence will be missed again. Nicolas Claxton will receive a ton of attention, and Mizzou will probably squeeze him in the paint just like they did a week ago. Someone has to pick up the slack.
- Turnovers. It’s the bane of our existence; our Kryptonite. Georgia has to cut down on the single biggest plague since Tony Cole. Well, that and not being able to score much.
- Fatigue. This team is tired. For the better part of the last 2 weeks, they look it and they’re playing like it. Can they find the energy for at least 40 more minutes? Is it more mental than physical? Probably a little of both. I hope some of Coach Crean’s energy electrons rub off on our guys ‘cause you know he’’ll be fine.
Why I think they can win:
- No disrespect to Mizzou, but they aren’t exactly a great team, either. If Georgia can find it within themselves to spar with these guys like they did against Florida, LSU, Auburn and Ole Miss, they should win.
- A neutral court. No one is going to be in attendance this evening except friends, family, a few writers, the teams, and a couple of drunk Tennessee frat boys who think the Vols are actually playing tonight.
- Redemption. Georgia stunk it up at home last week, on Senior Night. C’mon, guys. Go get it.
- Tournaments are built for upsets. Why, just yesterday Saint Mary’s upset Gonzaga - a potential #1 Big Dance seed. That has caused some immediate Bubble Trouble. A little momentum can go a long way, and if Georgia can start out fast with a lead by halftime, they might just keep playing for at least another night.
- Spirit. We’ve got spirit, yes we do. We’ve got spirit, how ‘bout you?
Yeah, I know. It’s been a tough, tough season. Here’s hoping we can extend our misery one more evening. To better days! Consider this your open thread.