An early look at some potential SEC Tournament scenarios

The Georgia Bulldogs (17-7; 6-4) have six games remaining on their 2010-2011 SEC schedule – three home and three away.

Georgia will play host to Vanderbilt, South Carolina and LSU, while the Dawgs have to make daunting trips to Tennessee, Florida and Alabama.

Let’s assume that Georgia splits the next six games (holding serve at home but losing on the road) and finishes the season at 9-7 in the conference, and 20-10 overall.

Would this be sufficient to get them in, or would the Dawgs need to win a game in the SEC Tournament to solidify an at-large berth into this year’s NCAA Tournament?

Hopefully Georgia can take care of business in Athens against Vandy on Wednesday night, giving them sole possession of second place in the SEC East.  If the Dawgs were to hang on to that position (meaning Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Tennessee all have slip-ups) they would earn a bye in the first round of the SEC Tournament.

If Georgia finished second in the East, that would mean that they would take on the winner of the South Carolina-Arkansas first-round game (assuming that the standings today remained the same, except UGA and Vandy swap spots).

The other scenario is that even if the Dawgs win on Wednesday, they still could finish third or fourth in the SEC East depending on how the chips fall along the way.  If they finished third, Georgia would play Auburn in round one.  Should they finish fourth, the Dawgs would take on LSU.

I tend to think that if Georgia were to finish 20-10 overall and 9-7 in the conference that they would be deserving of an at-large bid from the selection committee.  However, the Dawgs are far from being a household name nationally, and the SEC does not garner a lot of respect in the college basketball world compared to the other major conferences (ESPN rated the SEC 7th in its latest conference ranking).

Obviously, beating Vanderbilt Wednesday night is a must if the Bulldogs hope to dance in March.  But how important is a win in this year’s SEC Tournament?  If you think a win in the conference tournament is important, would you rather the Dawgs earn a bye and play the winner of the potential South Carolina-Arkansas game (assuming it started right now), or would you rather them play a first round game against a bottom-dweller like LSU or Auburn?

I apologize in advance for all the “what if” scenarios…

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5 thoughts on “An early look at some potential SEC Tournament scenarios

  1. The higher the seed the better. At 9-7 I do not think we will have the 2 seed. Which would be fine playing LSU or AU.

    If we are the 2 seed then I feel like we will be 10-6 and that will lock in NCAA bid and prob would be playing for seeding throughout the remainder of the tourney. We would poss get Bama or another SEC team in the Semi and then who knows.

    I think the magic number is 10 wins combined to get in tourney. We are at 6. We can win all remaining games but we could also go 2-4. Vandy is not a MUST win. If you don’t win then you better get ready to beat UF or UT on the road.

    Still only played 2/3 full games this season. UK/@ole miss and Miss. St. It’s time we play a complete game and get it going down the stretch.

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  2. I think Georgia is in the NCAA with 9 SEC wins (conf. tourney included). The NCAA has to pick 68 teams this year and the ACC and Pac-10 are way down. Someone has to dance and SEC East is respected nationally.

    Our focus for the SEC tourney needs to be on winning the thing rather than jockying for NCAA. The tourney is in Atlanta and this is the rare basketball season where you cannot point to any SEC team and say they are definitely better than Georgia. With that approach, we want the bye for sure – winning 3 games is so much easier than 4 in 4 days.

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    1. I like the way you think, Decatur Dawg. You are so right. There is no dominant team this year and we can play with anyone. I think having a bye would be really nice but not essential. Winning on Wed decreases the pressure on the team. Then picking up a win at UT or UF is “icing on the cake” versus a must-win as it would be if we fall to Vandy. Let’s just hope that no matter what our seed is that the Dawg fans in Atlanta converge on the GEORGIA Dome.

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