Dangling-by-a-thread Dawgs: Are they in the Dance or out?

Georgia's Mark Fox: "Dayton! It's this way, guys!" (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

Georgia coach Mark Fox: "Dayton, Ohio! It's this way, guys!" (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

The SEC tournament raged on without them, but the Georgia Bulldogs remained a talking point — involving much talking and little consensus — at the Dome. Soon we’ll all know their NCAA tournament fate, but a lot of us spent Saturday afternoon trying to decide if they’ll be out or in. Trying and failing.

Joe Lunardi, the ESPN bracketologist, had them out. Jerry Palm, the CBS Sports man, had them in as a No. 10 seed. (Palm has been higher on the Bulldogs than anyone else among the figure filberts, it must be noted.) Andy Glockner of SI.com had them the next-to-last team in. See what I mean by consensus, or the lack of same?

Mike Slive is the SEC commissioner, so he’s biased toward his membership. He also served five years on the NCAA committee, which means he knows more about its workings than you and I and maybe even Joe Lunardi. And he believes both Georgia and Alabama should make it.

Said Slive: “Georgia because of its body of work and because it passes the eye test” [meaning it looks like an NCAA tournament team]; Alabama because it has played so well in the conference and won five games against the East, and that’s part of its body of work.”

As we know, Georgia trumps Alabama on RPI. (Although the Bulldogs’ number did fall to 43, which is dicey, after its Friday flop.) As we also know, Alabama beat Georgia twice in seven days at the end of the season. Those are things to remember. So, however, are these:

• The committee often is less impressed by events in conference tournaments than we expect it to be.

• The RPI is a meaningful gauge when it comes to choosing teams to consider, but it isn’t necessarily a final determinant.

• The committee mightn’t get as caught up in Team A (Alabama, say) versus Team G (Georgia, duh) comparisons as we on the periphery would assume. Those folks have a whole board to consider, not just two teams from one league.

That said, it surely did Georgia no disservice that Alabama got blown out by Kentucky on Saturday. (Said John Calipari, the Kentucky coach: “I think [Alabama] should be in. I think Georgia should be in.”) But let’s return to the concept of the Whole Board: The doings in the Big Ten, where three bubble teams — Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State — reached the tournament semis, and in the Atlantic 10, where Dayton has crashed the final, could have a ripple effect. Or not.

Calipari: “What we don’t know is how much [the committee] has done already.”

If the basketball minds gathered at the Dome agreed on anything, it was that Georgia and Bama and all bubble puppies should feel grateful this NCAA will include 68 teams, up from 65. And also that at least one could wind up playing in Dayton on Tuesday or Wednesday in the new play-in round. (There will be two games there each night, with one night featuring the final four at-large entrants.)

That said, I should note that we geniuses likewise caucused back in 2001 and decided that Georgia, which had lost its final regular-season game and its first SEC tournament game to fall to 16-14, couldn’t possibly be invited to the tournament. Not only did the Bulldogs get in, they were rewarded with a No. 8 seed. Such was the power, apparently, of an RPI of 27. (They lost in Round 1 to Missouri on Clarence Gilbert’s baseline basket at the buzzer.)

If I had to guess — and I don’t, but I will — I think the 2010-11 Bulldogs will be invited to the Big Dance, just. I think they’ll be among the last four in, and I think any Georgia celebration needs to be brief. The Bulldogs could well be playing in the NCAA tournament 48 hours after receiving their invite. They could be bound, if not yet for glory, then at least for Dayton.

By Mark Bradley

142 comments Add your comment

Josh B

March 12th, 2011
4:23 pm

First and Dawgs as an 11 seed?

Sonny Clusters

March 12th, 2011
4:24 pm

We was a close second
.

GIVE ME A BREAK

March 12th, 2011
4:26 pm

Fox needs to learn how to use time outs.

Mark Bradley

March 12th, 2011
4:27 pm

Kudos to Josh B.

And befriend Mr. Clusters on Facebook.

D A DoubleU G

March 12th, 2011
4:31 pm

We should be in.

Too many bubble teams won yesterday, however.

So I want to say we have earned a 12 or 13 seed…… but I am not expecting to have our names called tomorrow.

Let’s hear now from the haters……..

WalkerMuhDawg

March 12th, 2011
4:31 pm

Big conference teams rarely get a seed below 11. Those lower seeds are reserved for the AQ’s and the smaller conferences. The Dayton play-in teams will NOT be from the SEC. How can you even suggest this?

dawg-gone

March 12th, 2011
4:32 pm

They are out. Choke-choke. Come back next year.

D A DoubleU G

March 12th, 2011
4:40 pm

I don’t see the Dawgs being this close for at least a few more years.

Thompkins and Leslie will be all but gone.

Julian Royal will likely be a Dawg in the next couple weeks with Hewitt’s firing in that big city to the west of Athens.

It is going to take a couple VERY good recruiting classes and a blue-chip or two to put us on the CBB map.

But we have the coach to do it. He just needs to go to a “timeout seminar” sometime this summer.

GO DAWGS!!!
175 days til’ kickoff!!

wildbill

March 12th, 2011
4:44 pm

I’m wondering what is in the Kool-Aid at halftime. The dawgs come out flat, and the rest is history. They should stay home.

todd grantham

March 12th, 2011
4:54 pm

Mark,

I’m getting a little uneasy about Mark Fox’s in game coaching. The no time out and then the infamous time out are unsettling.

todd grantham

March 12th, 2011
4:59 pm

What would Georgia’s record be if every game ended at the half? Is it the lack of depth or is van halenger the conditioning coach?

David Granger

March 12th, 2011
5:07 pm

We’re out. Too many bubble teams playing better in their conference tourneys. The ‘Bama game was a play-in, and we didn’t win it.

Terry Funk

March 12th, 2011
5:12 pm

Enter your comments here

Dog Island Gator

March 12th, 2011
5:14 pm

Gators are in Mark.

RaleighDawg

March 12th, 2011
5:14 pm

Tood – it’s poor game day coaching, plain and simple. And it’s not just this last game with Fox mixing up his timeout/no timeout strategy. Fox has no offense for a ‘must have’ basket (as opposed to say, Roy Williams and Anthony Grant who brought them teams from behind to win). He’s done nothing to develop his bench – for this year and, heaven help us, next year. He’s got a 6′10″ forward bringing the ball up against the press. He’s yet to coach Trey on how to recognize the double team and what to do when he gets double teamed. He’s yet to jerk Gerald out when he’s throw up three air balls and made four turnover in a row. He’s yet to teach JP how to make a layup or Chris on how to catch a basketball. He’s yet to learn from a mistake and proudly exclaims how “he’d do the same thing again”. And most alarming to – besides the fact that he’s yet to learn from any of these debacles – is that he has yet to take any ownership in the numerous meltdowns this team has committed. Mark my words and your calendar, if something isn’t done soon about Mark Fox we UGA fans will be in the same boat Tech fans have been for the last few years.

Go Dawgs !

Choke Artist Mark

March 12th, 2011
5:16 pm

NIT and playing Mickey Mouse U in toliet Bowls games is where UGA is right now. Just saying…..

June Jones

March 12th, 2011
5:18 pm

Both Mark Fox and Mark Richt are a systems coach. No strategy in their vocabulary.

Meltdown Marks

March 12th, 2011
5:20 pm

UGA has two of them !

Gordon

March 12th, 2011
5:25 pm

UGA is in and deserves to be in. The RPI is too good. Congratulations and good luck from a Tech fan. We’ll be back soon.

DDW

March 12th, 2011
5:31 pm

Which means they’ll be the first team to win seven tournament games en route to a national title!

mcg dawg

March 12th, 2011
5:38 pm

Gordon….Appreciate the sentiments…feels iffy at best…best of luck on a new coach for you guys!

TampaDAWG

March 12th, 2011
5:38 pm

Everybody is a system coach! That said, Coach Fox had a bad game yesterday. As soon as Alabama scored the first 6 points of their run he should have called a time out and settled his team down. Anyways, I unfortunately believe that UGA played their way out of the tournament yesterday, but lets look at the over all body of work. They went from 14 wins to 21 wins 5-11 to 10-8 in SEC play. Hopefully the loss of Thompkins and Leslie won’t cause too much of a drop off next year. Its only Coach Fox’s second year and all UGA fans can hope is they will continue to get better each year.

Real Dawg Fan

March 12th, 2011
5:43 pm

Go back to Raleigh, Dawg???? if indeed you are a Dawg.
Go Dawgs and Go Mark Fox!!!!!!!

reebok

March 12th, 2011
5:43 pm

i’m a georgia tech fan but i think georgia deserves to get in and will.

Ron Jirsa

March 12th, 2011
5:48 pm

hey coach –

They lost 6 games when leading at the half

GTBob

March 12th, 2011
6:22 pm

I think they are out. I don’t think they will get the nod over Alabama and I also have a hard time believing that the 6th best conference is going to send half of its teams to the tournament. Especially 5 from the same division. They are a decent formula team for the tournament but there are several other formula teams on the bubble as well.

jc_dawgs

March 12th, 2011
6:27 pm

This is going to be close.

46 in the rpi. 9 teams ahead of Ga have won auto bids.

We definitely need Utah St to win the WAC.

If Ga gets in…AL probably will also. They are either both in or out.

5150 UOAD

March 12th, 2011
6:28 pm

the DAWGS will be DANCING DANCING in the Streets, but not in the NCAAs. UGAs best bet is for no UPSETS on the last day to the conference tourneys. UGA is on a HUGE BUBBLE. Losing to a weak BAMA team twice in a week is not helping their bid for the NCAA. MAIMI blew a 14 point lead over UNC like UGA blew a 14 point lead over Bama, but Bama ain’t no UNC.

kral

March 12th, 2011
6:36 pm

hope we are in..praying to the bb Gods

Terry Funk

March 12th, 2011
6:47 pm

catlady

March 12th, 2011
6:47 pm

Out. Maybe in a few more years, with some general no-nonsense ADing.

clay

March 12th, 2011
6:47 pm

who cares about georgia in the tournment or not. told you mark it was going to be a duke carolina championship game.

jc_dawgs

March 12th, 2011
6:52 pm

Ga’s strength of schedule is very favorable to the other bubble teams. You have to think that if it is that close…the committee will look at that blow call TN defeat…the 35 ft prayer job by FL…and the double OT loss to Notre Dame…a potential #1 seed. Plus…Ga defeated Colorado…a team that many have in the tourney with a lower rpi than Ga.

It really might come down to whether Utah St wins tonight or not.

J Clay

March 12th, 2011
7:05 pm

Should be in based on profile, but think will be passed up. Does not help that Penn St keeps winning, also Dayton could be an at large stealer tomorrow. Assume they will favor the ACC teams that have done next to nothing nad have lower RPI’s: Clemson and Va Tech; as well as favoring Michigan St who should not be in (think one criteria should be expectations and they were preseason #2 and finish with 14 losses), Villanova should not be in (love em but they hafve stunk up 2nd half of season), USC should not be in either…

Coach D

March 12th, 2011
7:05 pm

No, Mark, NO!!! You just gave the Dawgs the “Kiss of Death!” by predicting they’ll be in…. Say they won’t be & then i’d be preparing to get to the game. Now, I’ll have to decide which team to cheer for!

J Clay

March 12th, 2011
7:06 pm

Clay – Bold prediction – UNC v Duke for the ACC title….I mean that is about as bold as picking George Mason to make the Final Four a few years ago

dawgerbrown

March 12th, 2011
7:12 pm

I love the DAWGS and as much as I hate to say it I don’t think they deserve to be in after the Bama game yesterday. Too many times this season they have blown second half leads. Bama simply wanted the game more than UGA did yesterday. They killed us on the boards the second half and hit foul shots when they had too. If I’m picking teams for the tourney I want teams that have proven they have heart and know how to win. UGA has more “quality losses” than “quallity wins”. Should have beaten Florida at home, Xavier at home, and UT at home. Then we would be in.

J Clay

March 12th, 2011
7:17 pm

Next Bold Predictions from Clay: Loser of UNC – Duke game to still receive an at large bid; Ohio State to be a #1 seed; Sun will continue to rise in the East; UGA to continue dominating Tech in football

bobby allen

March 12th, 2011
7:21 pm

bad coaching….bad coaching…..ga. should be in nit…..we want Mark Fox to be good but he coache a bad game against ala……..

Giggs

March 12th, 2011
7:21 pm

Gig…giggit….Giggity!

todd grantham

March 12th, 2011
7:34 pm

Chairmen of the Board

You’ve got me dangling on a string
Please don’t let me drop
My life will surely stop
‘Cause I’m trapped in a dream of needing you so
My heart’s in a noose and I can’t break loose

I’m not half the man that I used to be, and I’ll admit it
Your love has become a habit to me, and I can’t quit it
Won’t you take this half a man and make this man whole again?

You’ve got me dangling on a string
Please don’t let me drop
‘Cause you’re everything I’ve got
‘Cause I’m trapped in a dream of needing you so
The feeling is strong and I can’t let go

Every time I phone, your number’s changed or disconnected
You have made my life a book of games–I feel so rejected
Girl, you’ve got the best of me, now come and take the rest of me

You’ve got me dangling on a string
Please don’t let me drop
You’re everything I’ve got
‘Cause I’m trapped in a dream of needing you so
My heart’s in a noose and I can’t break loose

Girl, my nights are so lonely
Ooh, I’m needing you only

I only drink enough from your loving cup to keep me thirsty
Girl my need for you is oh so strong until it hurts me

You’ve got me dangling on a string
Please don’t let me drop
You’re everything I’ve got
‘Cause I’m trapped in a dream of needing you so
The feeling is strong and I can’t let go

You’ve got me dangling on a string…

Kentavious Caldwell

March 12th, 2011
7:39 pm

Mark, wonder if you have seen Kentavious play. A Macon Telegraph writer said this week that if he were at UGA right now, he would be leading the team in scoring. I know the kid is good, but that sounds like a stretch to me.

VIRGIL SNODGRASS

March 12th, 2011
7:42 pm

The Cinderella-DAWGS were a 14 seed in 2008 and should have beat Xavier..up 10+ in the second half.

blazerdawg

March 12th, 2011
7:55 pm

IN! All of the other bubble teams have many more poor losses.

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

March 12th, 2011
8:06 pm

I don’t know nothing about basketball, but I’m revved up for September, baby. Let the Big Dawg eat! As for the basketball team, meah! What’s so hard about bouncing a round ball from one end of a gym to another?

Sloan

March 12th, 2011
8:22 pm

UGA is going to be left at the altar tomorrow. No bad losses is not a resume’ for the big dance.

1953 dawg

March 12th, 2011
8:35 pm

This team isn’t going to the big dance and it doesn’t deserve to go. Everybody keeps talking about no bad losses. Well they have 2 bad losses now, both 2 Bama. UGA has 3 good wins, UAB, Kentucky&Tenn., and they now have 2 bad losses 2 Bama. Bama is not a top 50 rpi team, so forget about UGA getting in. And after watching this team blow big leads time and time again, why would any UGA fan want to watch this clown of a coach sit there helpless and watch his team choke away another win. The only thing worse than watching this coach during a game, is to watch Bobo&Richt try to call plays in the clutch during a big game. Good help all UGA fans. The mediocrity continues.

UGGA

March 12th, 2011
9:11 pm

UGA’s RPI is now 48.

Dawg '94

March 12th, 2011
9:13 pm

I hope the Dawgs are in, but Bama deserves it more. Bottom line, Bama beat the Dawgs twice within a week. I think the Dawgs can make some noise if they get in. GO DAWGS!!

Skeezix

March 12th, 2011
9:28 pm

My guess is they’re out, but if they get in, they’ll probably be in one of those play-in games.