A day and a half after the loss to Alabama, and I am starting to feel optimistic about Georgia‘s chances of being invited to this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Joe Lunardi doesn’t think so.
However, Jerry Palm of CBS Sports, Andy Glockner of Sports Illustrated and the ESPN authors of “Bubble Watch” all like the Dawgs in the Big Dance.
The AJC”s Mark Bradley wrote a nice piece this morning that contained some inside information from SEC Commissioner Mike Slive regarding what the Selection Committee actually considers (and Slive should know, he served on that committee for five years).
The bottom line is – if you look at Georgia’s “body of work”, as the committee claims that it does, the Dawgs should be in. The Dawgs have an impressive overall record (21-11), a winning conference record (9-7), a strong RPI (43), a winning road record (7-4) – their only knock is a 3-9 record against the RPI Top 50.
However, maybe a team’s record versus the RPI Top 50 isn’t that big of deal? After all, Clemson is 0-6 in games against the RPI Top 50 and Lundardi has them as one of the last four in.
The media created a buzz around the SEC Tournament game between Alabama and Georgia as an NCAA play-in game. But in reality, this is not how the committee makes its decisions regarding the Field of 68.
This isn’t college football, with the “What have you done for me lately?” mantra.
It’s college basketball, where a team spends the entire season building its NCAA resume. Villanova, for example, is listed as a 10-seed in the latest Bracketology, yet they have lost 5 straight games and 10 of their last 15. Nova is going to be dancing though, because they finished the season 21-11 overall and 9-9 in the Big East.
Back to the Georgia-Alabama game(s) – as painful as it was to see the Dawgs lose two times in a week to the Tide, according to Bradley’s notes from his conversation with Slive, the committee isn’t as concerned with head-to-head match-ups as we might presume (or be as fans).
Joe Lunardi has included Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Southern Cal and Michigan State in his most recent bracket. All of these teams have head-to-head blemishes on their resumes, though.
Kansas State lost to Colorado all three times this season (twice in the regular season and then in the conference tournament as well) – Kansas State is a lock for the tournament, while Colorado will be on pins and needles this afternoon to see if they are invited.
Virginia Tech, one of the last four in, dropped both its games against Boston College this year – a team that Joe has as one of the first four out (along with UGA).
Southern Cal lost twice to lowly Oregon this year, a team that finished 16-17 overall and 7-11 in the Pac-10.
Michigan swept in-state rival Michigan State in their two match-ups this season, yet it’s very possible that State could get in and Michigan might not.
In less than twelve hours, all of the dust will settle and we’ll know if this year’s Georgia Bulldogs basketball team did enough to earn an at-large bid.
What does everyone think? Are the Dawgs in or out?