Georgia’s women’s basketball team earned a #4 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The seed is Georgia’s highest starting position since receiving a #3 seed in 2006 and 2007. With Georgia’s legacy and tradition, it’s not quite right to say that a #4 is evidence of a program on its way back, but it is recognition of one of Georgia’s strongest teams in several seasons.
Georgia will be aiming for its third consecutive Sweet 16 appearence. Despite earning a #5 and #6 seed over the past two seasons, Georgia has managed to pull some mild second-round upsets and advance. Now it’s Georgia turn to play the role of the favorite for the first time in five seasons. The Lady Dogs are coming off a disappointing quarterfinal exit in the SEC Tournament, but they’ve had two weeks to continue to get healthy and work on some persistent problems.
The Lady Dogs will begin the tournament in Tallahassee on Sunday at noon against Marist. Marist, a small school from my old stomping grounds in Poughkeepsie, NY, has been a mid-major success story in women’s hoops under coach Brian Giorgis. The Red Foxes have dominated the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), and with seven consecutive league titles they’ve become a mainstay in the NCAA Tournament. They blew through the league again this year with a 17-1 conference record.
So while Marist will be a heavy underdog, they’ll be as comfortable and familiar with the pressures of the tournament as Georgia. The two programs met a couple of times during the middle of last decade – Georgia pulled away to win a close game on Marist’s court, and they had a little easier time when the teams met in the NCAA Tournament a season later.
Joining Marist and Georgia in Tallahassee are #12 seed Florida Gulf Coast and #5 seed St. Bonaventure. The winners of Sunday’s games will meet on Tuesday evening.
For ticket information, visit subregional host FSU’s website.