Georgia draws Mississippi State for first round of SEC Tournament

ATHENS – The good news is Georgia drew a team it beat during the regular season for the first round of the SEC Tournament. That’s the bad news, too.

As the 11th seed, the Bulldogs (14-15, 5-11 SEC) will face sixth-seeded Mississippi State (21-10, 8-8) in the first round Thursday night in New Orleans. Georgia shocked the “Maroon Bulldogs” 70-68 in overtime on Feb. 11th. At the time coach Rick Stansbury’s team was ranked No. 20 in the nation.

As a result, Georgia will be facing a team that not only is fighting and clawing for an NCAA Tournament berth, but one that will also be motivated by revenge.

“Our first game versus  Mississippi State was a terrific win for us,” said Georgia coach Mark Fox, whose team capped the regular season with a 67-55 win over South Carolina on Saturday. “They’ve been nationally ranked most of the year and we were fortunate to catch them on short rest. They are hard to beat because they have a great point guard in [Dee] Bost, great size and good 3-point shooting.”

Mississippi State earned the No. 6 seed by thumping Arkansas 79-59 Saturday in Starkville. It was the Bulldogs’ second win in a row.

If Georgia can somehow get past State, it will face third-seeded Vanderbilt (21-10, 10-6) in the second round. The Commodores, one of four teams to earn a first-round bye, beat the Bulldogs twice this season. A preseason Top 10 pick, Vandy won 77-66 on Jan. 14 in Nashville and 61-52 on Feb. 19 in Athens.

The Bulldogs did manage to avoid Kentucky’s bracket. With Sunday’s 74-59 win at Florida, the Wildcats (30-1, 16-0) became the first team to go undefeated in SEC play since 2003 when they did it under Tubby Smith.

Georgia has won the SEC Tournament just two times. The first was in 1983, which catapulted the Bulldogs to their only NCAA Final Four appearance. The second came in 2008 and remains one of Georgia’s most unexpected and thrilling sports stories of this century.

Dennis Felton’s Bulldogs, which finished last in the Eastern Division with the conference’s  worst SEC (4-12), won four games in four days during the tornado-interrupted tournament in Atlanta and clinched the championship and an NCAA berth on the home floor of the rival Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Georgia is 39-48 all-time in the conference tournament with six appearances in the finals and 12 in the semifinals.

“We’re definitely looking forward to it,” senior guard Dustin Ware said. “We’re going in there thinking it’s a brand new year, a new season in itself. We’re looking to play well and win some games.”

Of course, without a first-round bye, any team attempting that feat must win four games in four days. The Bulldogs talked about how exhausted they were this past Saturday after playing South Carolina two days after facing No. 1 Kentucky on the road in a late Thursday night contest.

The Bulldogs will be playing the last game of the day on Thursday. It’s slated to tip off at 10 p.m. EST.

“It doesn’t really matter,” Ware said. “We’ve played that late a couple of times. The ball still goes in the air. We’re just going down there looking for a win.”

22 comments Add your comment

Buzzzzzzzz

March 5th, 2012
8:22 am

The Big Three sports in 2011:

Basketball – Tech 1, UGA 0

Baseball – Tech 3, UGA 0

Football – Tech 0, UGA 1
—————————————
Total: Tech 4, UGA 1

TECH OWNS THIS STATE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gainesville Dawg

March 5th, 2012
8:28 am

Since this is a UGA Blog, I will simply say GOOOOOOOOOO, Dawgs in the SEC tournament!!!!
Buz, find your own blog!

Vince

March 5th, 2012
8:30 am

Buzzzzzzz—–You’re off of your anti-delusional Meds again !!!!!!!

Thomas Brown

March 5th, 2012
8:40 am

Got to win 2 games to get to post season tournament.

Thomas Brown

March 5th, 2012
8:41 am

1-0 UGA over Georgia tek FOOTBALL
0-1 Georgia tek men over UGA basketball
1-0 UGA over Georgia tek women’s basketball

It’s 2-1. Baseball has not been played this season yet.

DawginLex

March 5th, 2012
9:24 am

If State loses this game, no NCAA tournament. UGA has nothing to lose and should play loose.

My bet is State gets it done 68-65

Thomas Brown

March 5th, 2012
10:04 am

Mississippi State has been been beating cupcakes.

Mississippi State recently has lost to both Georgia and to Auburn, 2 cupcakes Mississippi State lost to.

We beat Mississippi State at their house.

Mississippi State is already in the NCAA with an 8-8 SEC record and has wins over Vanderbilt and Alabama, 2 top teams along with impressive wins over LSU, Arizona, West Virginia, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Arkansas in their last game.

But, I guess if the NCAA has others on the bubble such as Mississippi State, since their RPI is # 61, you could be right that they need to beat us to get in.

I don’t follow Mississippi State much and don’t understand why they play so many cupcakes, but that could count against them with a SoS of just # 66.

Pretty short-sided that posts have to be about basketball on the

UGA BLOG

We are ALL a lot more interested in FOOTBALL with Spring Practice starting up and us 79 Scholarships toward our 85 with until July 1 to sign some more.

jobro

March 5th, 2012
10:24 am

bro this is a hoops post stop talking about football its march bro GO DAWGS!

bucket

March 5th, 2012
10:37 am

This is a tough draw for the Dawgs considering Miss State is playing to get in the Big Dance and they have already lost to UGA once this year. Of course, you get the draw that you have earned in the regular season, so there’s no crying about that allowed. Here’s hoping the Dawgs can get it done, but I am not optimistic.

jobro

March 5th, 2012
11:04 am

we just have to make shots if we make shots anything is possible

P_The_Ricker

March 5th, 2012
11:13 am

senior backcourt with likely no add’l. games past the sec tournament to motivate a “never say die” mentality….i like the dawgs’ chances. that said, i’m not optimistic in getting past the senior laden squad at vandy in a potential quaterfinal match-up.

Thomas Brown

March 5th, 2012
11:24 am

Jobro

That post is NOT ABOUT MEN’S BASKETBALL

Thomas Brown

March 5th, 2012
11:26 am

jobro March 5th, 2012 10:24 am

“bro this is a hoops post stop talking about football its march bro GO DAWGS!”
______________________________________________________
How in the name of Heaven is this post ANYTHING REMOTELY RESEMBLING about basketball ?

B

March 5th, 2012
11:49 am

Mr. Towers, please go back to being Buck’s sidekick during Fall Saturday mornings. Wasn’t the same without you.

old dog

March 5th, 2012
2:00 pm

Go Dawgs……we may just make a little noise.

kimmer

March 5th, 2012
2:50 pm

MSU got caught looking past UGA in the regular season. That will not happen again.

Look for MSU to beat UGA by at least 5-10 points.

jobro

March 5th, 2012
4:32 pm

thomas i was talking about the guy who posted before chill out bro

jobro

March 5th, 2012
4:43 pm

dude im telling you if georgia plays solid on offense and gets out in transition and can hit some three pointers we will be fine MSU has no depth. Georgia will play solid defensivily because thats just the kind of coach Mark Fox is. If those things happen we can win anybody can win on any given day.

Snoop Dawg

March 5th, 2012
6:08 pm

UGA basketball was so lousy this year that they should not even be allowed to participate in the SEC tournament.

Oh yeah…. McGarrity is really working miracles! What a genius!!!

Snoop Dawg

March 5th, 2012
6:11 pm

UGA is so lousy these days that they are now the “other bulldogs.”

Dawg Haus

March 6th, 2012
8:26 am

Sic ‘em (again), Dawgs!

Jborodawg

March 7th, 2012
8:34 am

Looks like fan interest in the BB Dawgs is fairly tepid; as witnessed by the low number of posts here…and the low attendance at the Steg. That was a good win over SC last SAT, but there were a lot of empty seats. Right after our game on TV, the Tenn game came on and T. Boling looked packed. I really had hoped the students would turn out better for our last reg season game.

Be that as it may, our Dawgs usually play pretty good D. If we can get some shots to fall; especially if we can score in the paint and get some foul shots…we have a chance. Same with the Vandy game. Big ‘ifs’.

Go Dawgs!