NASHVILLE –Bruce Springsteen wrote a song, “Countin’ On a Miracle.” Seems like an appropriate tune for Georgia basketball fans right now. Then again, after what happened in the SEC tournament two years ago, can we assume anything?
It’s the Dogs and the Hogs tonight. I’ll be here courtside taking your questions, at least until such time that editors begin screaming at me for the print column. Which should be in about five minutes.
I’m not making any predictions here. But things potentially set up nicely for Georgia. Yes, Mark Fox’s team went 5-11 and finished sixth in the SEC East. But the opening game is against Arkansas, a team that finished the season with five straight losses. If the Dogs win, their second game would be against Vanderbilt, a team Georgia upset in Athens, 72-58, and nearly defeated a second time in Nashville (losing in overtime, 96-94).
Even a headline in Nashville’s newspaper, The Tennessean, read: “Commodores want Hogs, not ‘Dogs.”
“We haven’t played our best basketball against Georgia,” Vanderbilt center A.J. Ogilvy said. “That will be weighing on our minds.”
Georgia basketball? Weighing on somebody’s mind? But that’s the kind of respect Georgia has garnered this season, even with the losing record. Upsets over Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech and Illinois in a rebuilding year will do that.
Georgia forward Trey Thompkins, who was a high school senior watching on TV when the Bulldogs won the SEC tournament two years ago, sees no reason why the team can’t go on a run this week.
“That team was a strong-willed team,” he said. “We’re also strong-willed. I feel like we’ve got some tough guys also.”
So what do you think? Does it end quickly tonight or do the Dogs move on to Friday?
And forgive me, please, for this bit of hokiness. But most of you know I’m a Springsteen fanatic, so here’s a bootleg video from “The Rising” tour in 2002 I found on YouTube:
A little Bruce juice