Pairing set: UGA will open SEC tourney vs. Auburn

After his team finished the regular season with a victory at LSU on Saturday night, Auburn coach Tony Barbee gushed: “I know this. There are a lot of teams in the conference that are heading to Atlanta saying, ‘I hope we don’t match up with that Auburn team.’”

As it turns out, the first team that will match up with Auburn in the SEC men’s basketball tournament is Georgia, which will play the Tigers at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Georgia Dome.

Tournament pairings were set Sunday afternoon, when Kentucky’s 64-58 victory at Tennessee finalized the SEC East seeds. The win clinched second place in the division for Kentucky (10-6 in the league, three games behind runaway East winner Florida) and left Georgia and Vanderbilt (both 9-7) in a tie for third place. Georgia is the division’s No. 4 seed because of two regular-season losses to Vanderbilt.

The Bulldogs thus open the conference tournament against the No. 5 seed from the Western Division, an Auburn team that finished 11-19 overall and 4-12 in the SEC but lifted the spirits of its coach and players with back-to-back wins over Ole Miss and LSU to close the regular season. Georgia beat Auburn 81-72 on Feb. 5 in Athens, but had to go into overtime to do it.

The winner of Thursday’s Georgia-Auburn game — the tournament opener — will face Alabama, the SEC West’s No. 1 seed, in a quarterfinal at 1 p.m. on Friday. Either way, that quarterfinal will be an enticing matchup — a meeting of arch-rivals or a hasty rematch of a regular-season finale in which Alabama beat Georgia 65-57 in Tuscaloosa.

Other first-round pairings Thursday have South Carolina (the No. 6 East seed) vs. Ole Miss (No. 3 West) at 3:30 p.m., Tennessee (No. 5 East) vs. Arkansas (No. 4 West) at 7:30 p.m. and LSU (No. 6 West) vs. Vanderbilt (No. 3 East) at 10 p.m.

The South Carolina-Ole Miss winner will face Kentucky, the East’s No. 2 seed, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, followed at 7:30 p.m. by the Tennessee-Arkansas winner vs. East No. 1 Florida at 7:30 p.m. and the LSU-Vanderbilt winner vs. West No. 2 Mississippi State at 10 p.m.

By tying Vanderbilt for third place in the Eastern Division, Georgia broke a seven-year streak of finishing fifth or sixth in the regular-season standings.

As of Sunday, “bracketologists” were debating whether the Bulldogs (20-10 overall) already have done enough to secure a bid from the NCAA tournament selection committee, or whether they might need another victory or two in the SEC tournament to reach the Big Dance. CollegeRPI.com’s Jerry Palm was projecting Georgia as a No. 9 NCAA seed despite Saturday’s loss at Alabama, while ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi had the Bulldogs narrowly missing the 68-team field.

Georgia coach Mark Fox made his case via Twitter on Sunday afternoon: “Regular season complete. Committee always talks body of work. 20-10, top 40 RPI & SOS, winning record in SEC & on road, no bad losses.”

Georgia ranks No. 40 in the RPI and No. 38 in strength of schedule.

“Coach always tells us don’t worry about it,” Georgia forward Trey Thompkins said of the NCAA tournament talk. “As far as our team goes, we just know we have the SEC tournament [this] week.”

107 comments Add your comment

Taylor

March 6th, 2011
2:41 pm

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
2:43 pm

UGA fans should love the chance to Scream their heads off. I guess the Dawgs are just happy nobody named FAIRLEY will be playing or Netwon either.

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
2:44 pm

The Dawgs should win this opening game unless the Refs steal the game.

Hairy Dawg

March 6th, 2011
2:44 pm

Might need to beat Auburn and Bama to secure a tournament bid.

Opelika Dawg

March 6th, 2011
2:47 pm

Let’s go Dawgs! Let’s own their state too!

BB

March 6th, 2011
2:49 pm

Georgia has a basketball team. Who knew?

joe

March 6th, 2011
2:51 pm

Tim, a link to the SEC Tournament bracket would have been nice/convenient/reader-centric, huh?
Go Dawgs…

D A DoubleU G

March 6th, 2011
2:56 pm

Cannot wait!

Go Dawgs!!!!

Jimmy

March 6th, 2011
3:03 pm

I hope the fans from the state of Alabama leave their poisons at home. Don’t need any trees in Atl getting killed.

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
3:08 pm

D A DoubleU G you will have to. Are you going to rate at the top on the SHPR and the TPR today too? I have confidence in you I know you can post something dumb on the UGA and GT Blog today.

AltamahaDawg

March 6th, 2011
3:12 pm

How do you know what he posts on the tech blogs?

Brian F.

March 6th, 2011
3:13 pm

Dowgs will beat Auburn and Alabama which will set up a Ga. Kentucky game on Sat. Ga advances to the NCAA’s after winning 2 games in SEC tourney.

Hector

March 6th, 2011
3:13 pm

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

AU in B-ham

March 6th, 2011
3:19 pm

when did basketball season start?

ugab

March 6th, 2011
3:20 pm

Need some outside shooters. Dawgs just pass it around till the clock runs down and miss the shot.

"Chef" Tim Dix

March 6th, 2011
3:27 pm

Inability to handle the Bama trap on Sat. can be fixed, but UGA’s perimeter defense will be the determining factor in how far they can go in the tourney.

As you can tell, I believe they are “in”.

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
3:40 pm

I am not sure if UGA is in or not, but if the Dawgs go down to Auburn I think that they might not make it. There are a lot of Bubble type teams this year and going out on the first day of the tourny could be killer for any team. I just still don’t see the Dawgs not beating Auburn though.

Mr. Dawg

March 6th, 2011
3:43 pm

I don’t think there is any doubt that the Bulldogs will need to beat Auburn and Alabama and advance to the SEC Tourney semi-finals to be safely assured of serious NCAA Tournament consideration. They really needed another quality win against Alabama in the regular season finale. If Thompkins and Leslie are both truly NBA ready players then this shouldn’t even be a discussion right now. Ware and Price aren’t even in the NBA draft conversation and they have contributed as much to whatever success UGA has had this season as those other two. Granted, Thompkins has battled some nagging inuries. But does a smart NBA GM just dismiss that and give him the benefit of being one of the best amateurs in the world? If he and Leslie are two are major factors in helping UGA make a great run in the SEC Championship and then win one or two in the NCAA tournament I might change my opinion. Otherwise they would be doing the right thing for themselves and the program by coming back to try and make 2012 a truly special year for UGA Baskeball.

dawgfan

March 6th, 2011
3:55 pm

Well there you have it. Delta Stewardess=TECHIE. You have been outed. I look forward to your new name and same jealous cowardly mumblings Techie.

Thanks.

John'90

March 6th, 2011
4:07 pm

Joe: This should help: http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com/SECSports/Home.aspx
Dawgs need to win the board battle and hit more 3’s, would love to see Ware shoot more, imho.
Go Dawgs!

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
4:16 pm

dawgfan I read the blogs and D A DoubleU G says dumb things on the UGA blog and gets called on them. He is all over the Tech blog saying dumb stuff too. They rip him there too. He just runs his mouth and says nothing most of the time. He is on Bradley and Schultz saying nothing no matter what the article is about. He and DawginLex don’t help the cause most of the time.

CHUCK UGA

March 6th, 2011
4:19 pm

Dawgs will CRUSH Auburn and then defeat Bama to make semi-finals. Book it. Then they will beat Auburn in football in 2011 making it 5 of last 6.

UGADawg83

March 6th, 2011
4:19 pm

Good thing Auburn doesn’t spend as much on hoops players as it does football players.

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
4:21 pm

Where is BUCKEYE? I know he is watching the OSU Wisconsin. I guess since the Dawgs are not playing he is off the computer. He doesn’t want abuse if the Buckeyes don’t win.

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
4:23 pm

Does BILL KING ever blog about anything other than Football? He never seems to do any other sports.

Committee on Anti-Alabama Activities

March 6th, 2011
4:24 pm

Doesn’t matter which team we whip again. We spanked the dawgs yesterday and swept AU. We will thrash whichever of these 2 losers come up.

Interesting stat by the announcers near the end of the 65-57 beatdown yesterday. They said that with their 20th win that Alabama has now won 20 games or more in a season 25 times. Georgia won 20 games also and now has all of 7 20 game winning seasons. Man is that sad.

Um, ah, Delta stewardess

March 6th, 2011
4:30 pm

Regarding Newton and folks “yelling their heads off” will be the AU family when the FBI reports on CRIMINAL ISSUES pertaining to Scam Newton, his Pappy and a coupld of other AU players and their seemingly unlimited WINNING tickets at Victoryland dog track and how AU has to forfeit their phony, ill gotten 2010 year.

AU will be forever tarnished by Scam and his Pappy and their College Park home that now looks like the governor’s mansion.

Thompkins in the NBA??

March 6th, 2011
4:35 pm

Neither Travis Leslie nor Thompkins are really NBA candidates at this time. They might get drafted but frankly, they are not that great. They should DOMINATE but they do not. Leslie really needs another year of college ball and Thompkins woul benefit as well.

If they turn pro …………..fine with me but they will just sit on the pines if 2010-2011 is any indication.

UGA, class of 71 & 73

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
4:35 pm

@Um, ah hold your breath for that to happen. It might make you feel better about the loss to Auburn this year, but it ain’t going to happen. You know Hershel Walker got paid too.

raymond

March 6th, 2011
4:41 pm

Go cats good luck to the bulldogs . I have a niece brother in law and 2 nephews that have coached in the basketball ranks –High School. Go Dawgs and UK Wildcats

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
4:44 pm

Well it looks like Hewitt won the last game at The Tech Dome.

Upstate Dawg

March 6th, 2011
4:45 pm

Auburn has certainly been playing better lately. If UGA plays its game and can limit its turnovers, it can beat anyone. Alabama is a good team but hardly invincible. Let’s hope the Dawg fans will descend on the Dome and give the team a boost. GO DAWGS!

hop

March 6th, 2011
4:47 pm

oh really herschel got paid! says who ? we know auburn has a history of paying players!

remember, there was a certain QB from mississippi that put your guys on probation for a while,after you paid him $50k.

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
4:55 pm

@hop: Poor Herschel pulled into Athens in a Brand New Smokie & Bandit Trans AM. How do you think his family with 8 kids paid for that car? We all can or have to admit there was some creative financing to make that happen. Remember it was during the time SMU was doing the same things on a larger scale. You can LIE to yourself, but you know in your heart Herschel was paid to come to UGA. The year before his sister was given a track scholarship to sweeten the deal too.

D A DoubleU G

March 6th, 2011
4:57 pm

glad to see I have Stalkers.

I look forward to being there Thursday. We should have run away from Auburn the first time we played but didn’t. I really think we impress from here on out.

What do you have for me Stewardess?? You want to pretend I work at a fast food place in order to attend a 1pm Thursday game and make fun of me for your fabrication??

If you cannot handle trash talk, I would suggest you not read the AJC blogs.

GO DAWGS!!!

Alan

March 6th, 2011
4:59 pm

Auburn cheats.

D A DoubleU G

March 6th, 2011
5:03 pm

NOBODY LISTEN TO D A DOUBLE!!!!

He is a sports trash talker!!!!!!

-Delta Stewardess

al.com

March 6th, 2011
5:11 pm

Will the GA. basketball coach order the players to hit the Auburn players if they are down on the court?

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
5:11 pm

@D A how nice to see you can be self effacing and honest. Are you trying to gain some sympathy? Just bring something good to the table and not just the nanny-nanny-boo-boo crap you usually do.

BornADawg

March 6th, 2011
5:15 pm

I loved watching this years version of the Dawgs BB team and the great job CMF has done. However, if we don’t get tougher in the lane and quit giving up the easy buckets, we may not advance very far in the SEC tourney or the NCAA’s. Go DAWGS!!

D A DoubleU G

March 6th, 2011
5:23 pm

Stewardess…….

“don’t bring the nanny-boo-boo”……

This coming from the person who just tried to put down UGA for a recruit driving a new car in 1980….. 1980!!!!

Your Jackets simply suck. They are the Thursday Nigh Lights JV team of the state. That triple option is bringing your program down, and I LOVE it. Keep PJ FOREVER!!!!!

9-1, son.
Mark Richt is YOUR DADDY

Ga Dawg 97

March 6th, 2011
5:34 pm

Mark Richt is nobodys Daddy. He had a losing record last year and should be fired! Just Sayin…

Ga Dawg 97

March 6th, 2011
5:36 pm

Better win 2 in the SEC Tourney or it’s NIT.

Billy D

March 6th, 2011
5:37 pm

Looking up at Florida. Some things never change. :)

Delta Stewardess

March 6th, 2011
5:38 pm

D A Double the Herschel comment was to the person saying Auburn cheats and UGA doesn’t. Read the post to follow the conversation. It will be funny when UGA has to play their Thursday Night Game too. UGA coaches are so scared of losing their jobs they are moving everybody around trying to get something to work. We now can’t say Richt isn’t trying to do things different. The complaint that he wouldn’t change has been answered. Now we just have to see what the results will be. Mark Richt is not my daddy.

Keith Helms

March 6th, 2011
6:53 pm

I am just glad the UGA fans finally have a team worthy of their cheers, whatever sport it is.

Basketball fan

March 6th, 2011
6:56 pm

If Ga can make ncaa I don’t think many teams would like playing them first round

Jborodawg

March 6th, 2011
7:21 pm

We “should” be able to handle Awbun. Bama’s gonna be tough, but maybe the second time’s the charm.

I’m proud of the Dawgs and the job CMF has done.

Said it’s great…to be…a Georgia Bulldog!

ronald

March 6th, 2011
7:31 pm

Dogs are in, regardless. They will crush Auburn in the 1st round and probably beat AL in the 2nd round. Either way, they are in.

No bad losses this season and a winning conference record in the East. No contest…

Suches Dawg

March 6th, 2011
7:34 pm

Tim – a correction to your post. ESPN’s Linardi has UGA as an 11th seed in the Western Region. You had stated he had UGA narrowly missing the field.