Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Lady Dogs dancing, but where?

Monday March 15, 2010

When the Lady Dogs gather tonight to watch the women’s selection show, things will be a little less tense than last year when we were wondering if Georgia would make the field at all. Georgia has nothing to worry about this year when it comes to receiving an at-large bid to the tournament, and the only questions will be seeding and destination.

Georgia’s solid 23-8 record and RPI around 25 will earn them a bid, but their seed won’t be as high as we once might have thought. Georgia started the season 18-1, moved to the top of the SEC standings, and were ranked in the top 10. You can do the math and see that they finished the season 5-7. That finish dropped them to the middle of the pack in the SEC, left them just hanging on in the national rankings, and surely diminished the tournament seed they will receive.

So while the Lady Dogs might not have a head of steam going into the tournament, the start to the season will still count for quite a bit. It was no fluke, and that winning streak came at the expense of several tournament-bound opponents. Six of Georgia’s seven quality wins came during that stretch. Most teams below the top few seeds have some strengths and weaknesses working for and against their arguments for seeding, and Georgia is no different:

In Georgia’s favor:

  • The Lady Dogs have an impressive 5-2 record against the RPI Top 25. They have a total of 7 wins against the RPI Top 50.
  • Georgia has no truly bad losses. They swept their nonconference schedule, and Georgia’s worst conference loss came on the road against Florida – rated #87 in the RPI.

Working against Georgia:

  • The committee weighs how well a team played down the stretch, and the news isn’t good for Georgia. The Lady Dogs lost 7 of their final 12 games.
  • Georgia’s conference record of 10-8 is more indicative of a lower seed.
  • Georgia’s quality wins all came at home. Unless you’re a host school, you don’t get the luxury of your home court. The Lady Dogs were 3-5 on the road in conference.

Our prediction is that the Lady Dogs will end up with a 7 seed. Their ranking might merit a 6 seed, and the RPI makes them a borderline 6/7 seed, but I think the shaky end to the season drops them down a little. A 6 seed wouldn’t be a surprise, but we can’t see them getting anything higher than that. At any rate, Georgia will be underdogs to advance to the Sweet 16.

As for the rest of the SEC, Tennessee is likely to get a 1 seed. Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and LSU should be safely in. Mississippi State is a bubble team, and hopefully their women will get better news than the men. MSU finished 3rd in the SEC and made the conference tournament semifinals, but their RPI of 50 and lack of impressive nonconference wins could hurt them. The conference is looking at 5 teams in with a fair chance of getting 6.

The Lady Dogs might have limped into the SEC Tournament, but there’s some hope that this could be Georgia’s first Sweet 16 squad since 2007. Georgia fared well against unfamiliar nonconference opponents and should welcome the chance to play someone again outside of the grinding SEC. One of their biggest problems down the stretch was injuries, and they’ll have had two weeks to rest up and get their legs back under them. When Georgia was fresh earlier in the season, they were one of the best teams in the nation.

Comments are closed.