Heading into today’s game against the Auburn Tigers this afternoon, Georgia finds itself sitting comfortably in the RPI standings with a rating of 20. If in fact the RPI is the baseline indicator for how the NCAA selection committee picks and seeds its bracket, then one would presume that UGA would be projected to be a 5- or 6-seed at this point in the year.
But that’s not the case. In ESPN’s latest Bracketology, Joe Lunardi still has Georgia slotted as an 8-seed. The network’s other college basketball guru, Eamonn Brennan, who orchestrates Bubble Watch each year, included this nugget about the Dawgs in his latest writeup:
“But every passing week of solidity gets Mark Fox’s team closer to its seeming No. 8-seed destiny.”
CBS’s Jerry Palm currently has Georgia pinned as a 9-seed.
These projections, though, don’t jive with where the committee has seeded teams that finished the year with RPI’s of 20 in the past. Below are the last four teams to end the year with an RPI of 20 along with the seed that they were given in the tournament:
2014 – Cincinnati RPI 20 – 5-seed
2013 – Butler RPI 20 – 6-seed
2012 – Vanderbilt RPI 20 – 5-seed
2011 – Vanderbilt RPI 20 – 5-seed
So as far as this year’s UGA team is concerned, what gives? Is this year’s Georgia squad being punished for UGA basketball’s historical lack of prestige?