Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post NIT! NIT!

Friday February 24, 2006

In the ugliest of games, rivaling only the 45-42 loss to Alabama in 2004, Georgia completed a season sweep of the defending NIT champs last night. With the win, a berth in this year’s NIT seems much more likely. Another win at Mississippi State next week should lock it up.

Why is the freaking NIT such a big deal? It is the postseason. It is a recognizable sign of progress from last season. It is the chance to keep playing and practicing for another week. It is a reward, though small, for the players who were asked to play above their ability and experience for the past two seasons.

It is also a baseline. As a baby step of progress for this program, it should be the last time for a while that the NIT is a goal or an acceptable outcome. Almost all of the current team will return next year. Recruiting will continue to add more pieces. The unholy trinity of little depth, little experience, and little talent hasn’t been completely exorcised but is fading away.

A berth in the NIT this year would be a good achievement for the team and a nice sign of progress – so long as that’s what it is. A step along the path of progress and not a stopping point or plateau. The fan base is hungry for more, and the coach and players surely are.

Let’s finish this season strong, recognize the improvement, and get ready for a real move forward next year.

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