NASHVILLE — OK. Let’s play this thing already. This 9:45 p.m. stuff is getting kind of old.
Georgia knows if it can follow up Thursday’s win over Arkansas with an upset of Vanderbilt, it will play in Saturday’s semifinals against Mississippi State during non-vampire hours (3:15 p.m. EST).
Most wouldn’t fault the Bulldogs if they lost to the Commodores, who are 23-7 and a lock for the NCAA tournament. They got their one SEC tournament win, which is one more than most expected. But there is no sense of satisfaction in their locker room.
From Trey Thompkins: “We want to win it all. We didn’t come here to win one game. We plan on moving forward.”
Before the Georgia-Arkansas game, Vanderbilt players were quoted as saying they preferred to play the Razorbacks in game two, given the Bulldogs defeated them in Athens and nearly pulled off an upset in Nashville (Vandy won in overtime). Said Thompkins, “They know we’re going to fight them to the end. They understand that and we understand that.”
Vandy hasn’t matched up well with the Dogs on the front line. Georgia held an 83-63 rebounding advantage in the two games and outscored the Commodores, 70-52, in the paint and 27-19 on second-chance points.
A.J. Oglivy, the Commodores’ 6-11 center, was held to six points in Georgia’s win in Athens. He scored 17 in Vandy’s overtime win in Nashville, but 11 of those came on free throws. In the two games, he was 5-for-18 from the floor. Travis Leslie (39 points, 18 rebounds) and Thompkins (38, 14) led Georgia in the two meetings.
OK, time to declare. What happens tonight?