Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Hoops update – flying elbows edition

Monday March 3, 2008

It’s getting tough to keep writing the same things about Georgia basketball. Though the effort that seemed lacking against Florida was back for the LSU game, the outcome was the same. With Sundiata Gaines’ ejection, the Dawgs found another way to shoot themselves in the foot and make the odds even longer. All we need now is for Tubby Smith to send some video to the SEC offices.

I thought that people were underestimating Florida a bit when folks lumped the Gators in with Georgia’s final three opponents as "winnable games". Sure, Florida is a bubble team and no great shakes this year, but they’re a good bit more talented than Georgia and had a great deal more motivation playing for their postseason fate. Coaching was more than a slight advantage too.

Now it’s left to Auburn and Ole Miss to get the Dawgs more than three SEC wins. Auburn isn’t a good team, but they’re hosting Georgia, and we know how well road games have gone for the Dawgs lately. Ole Miss has been road kill all season and needed a clock malfunction to hold off Alabama in Oxford, but several teams have reversed road woes in Athens this year. Both of the remaining games are toss-ups. At least Gaines should be available.

SEC Men’s Power Ranking

1. Tennessee: Capped off an emotional week with a win over Kentucky.
2. Miss. State: Quality road win in Gainesville. They’re for real.
3. Vanderbilt: Petitioning to have the SEC Tournament moved to Memorial Gym.
4. Kentucky: Good effort in Knoxville, but can they survive the loss of Patterson?
5. Arkansas: Big win to hold off Vanderbilt.
6. Florida: Does an NCAA bid depend on winning at Rupp?
7. LSU: Three wins in a row, and it could be four after playing Bama.
8. Ole Miss: Homecourt (and clock) the difference in a win over Alabama.
9. South Carolina: Nice road win at Auburn.
10. Auburn: Dropped two straight since beating Alabama.
11. Alabama: Likely stuck on four wins.
12. Georgia: Hey – spring practice starts today!

Lady Dogs

A lackluster win at South Carolina on Thursday night combined with an Auburn loss to Vanderbilt assured Georgia of a winning conference record and no worse than the #5 seed for the SEC Tournament. An unexpected win by South Carolina at Kentucky on Sunday opened the door for a possible #4 seed and first-round bye, but the Lady Dogs would have to beat Tennessee to move ahead of Kentucky.

For a half, it looked as if Georgia had what it took to beat Tennessee. A flurry of three-pointers gave the Lady Dogs a three-point halftime lead. But as nice as it was to lead at halftime, I think that Georgia missed some good chances to take advantage of Tennessee’s miscues on offense early. The Lady Vols weren’t hitting from outside, they were called for several traveling violations, and no one other than Candace Parker was scoring. Georgia was out in front, but you wondered if they could hold on once Tennessee started to find the basket.

As we found out, they couldn’t keep up. In a marquee game, Tennessee’s stars shone brighter than Georgia’s. While Candace Parker was able to score 30 and Shannon Bobbitt came up huge in the second half, Ashley Houts and Tasha Humphrey couldn’t step up. Humphrey struggled to score all night against the Tennessee interior defense, and two second half shot clock violations showed a shocking lack of awareness from the All-American candidate on Senior Night. A defense that had carried Georgia for much of the season relented in the second half as Tennessee broke down Georgia players individually off the dribble.

Despite the loss to Tennessee, Georgia is in decent shape entering the SEC Tournament. As the #5 seed, they’ll face hapless Alabama on Thursday evening. A January loss to Kentucky still stings, and Georgia will get a chance at revenge on Friday. I’d be really surprised to see Georgia drop either of those games and miss another SEC semifinal appearance, but nothing is a given with this team.

SEC Women’s Power Ranking

1. LSU: Perfect SEC regular season.
2. Tennessee: Will free throws cost them in March?
3. Vanderbilt: Definition of the team that no one wants to play.
4. Georgia: Loss to Tennessee halts four-game winning streak.
5. Kentucky: Nearly blew the #4 seed with a home loss to South Carolina
6. Auburn: Is 7-7 in the conference good enough for the NCAA Tournament?
7. Florida: 17-point comeback for a road win at Ole Miss.
8. Ole Miss: Blew a chance at the #7 seed and must play in-state rival in Nashville.
9. Miss. St.: Lost 6 of 8 to end the season.
10. South Carolina: Win at Kentucky makes them eligible for the WNIT.
11. Arkansas: 15-0 out of conference, 2-12 in conference.
12. Alabama: Won’t bring a change of clothes to Nashville.

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