Posted: 6:53 pm Saturday, March 15th, 2014

UGA made a great run, but it isn’t an NCAA team 

By Mark Bradley

J.J. Frazier tries to navigate among Wildcats. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

J.J. Frazier tries to navigate among Wildcats. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Mark Fox tried to lobby for his team on Saturday. After Georgia was beaten 70-58 by Kentucky in Saturday’s SEC semis, Fox said the Bulldogs “deserved consideration” for an NCAA tournament bid. He stopped short of saying he believed the Bulldogs should make it, although he did make a pitch to get more basketball-savvy people on the NCAA tournament committee.

“If this is just going to be a math thing (meaning the famous RPI), why not just use a computer and save a lot of money?” Fox said. “And why not do the same for the football championship?”

Fox’s point: Georgia is, at this moment, among the 68 best teams in the land. That’s a valid argument. But Georgia wasn’t one of the 200 best teams in the country before SEC play began in January, and a body of work is supposed to be just that — a full body of work.

Yes, the Bulldogs finished 12-6 and tied for second in the SEC. But the SEC was the nation’s seventh-best league according to the dreaded RPI, and Georgia will awake on Selection Sunday with a record of 19-13, which for some teams in some seasons would be good enough but isn’t good enough for this team in this season.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Georgia didn’t beat anybody of real consequence. They were 2-7 against teams ranked in the RPI top 50, and both the victories were over No. 47 Missouri, which probably won’t make the NCAA field. The Bulldogs’ 6-6 record in non-conference play — especially the losses to No. 180 Temple and No. 155 Georgia Tech — put them in a position that even a rousing 2 1/2 months couldn’t override.

If the committee has emphasized one thing over time, it’s that strength of schedule matters. Georgia’s non-conference strength of schedule was 125th, and the Bulldogs couldn’t even break .500 against it. Those games count, too, and they count against Georgia.

By way of contrast, the one thing the committee has habitually disregarded is conference record. In 2011, Alabama went 12-4 in league play and won the SEC West — this was when the league was divided into divisions — by three games and beat Georgia in its regular-season finale and again in the SEC tournament. The Bulldogs made the NCAA field; owing to a tepid non-conference schedule, the Tide did not.

Even as we credit Georgia for a stirring run, we note that Kentucky and Alabama were likewise 12-6 and tied for second in the SEC last year — and neither was invited to the Big Dance. (Yes, Kentucky was omitted.) The Bulldogs pulled themselves up by the bootstraps in January and made something of a season going wrong.

Fox did a splendid job in fitting what talent he had to the new hands-off college rules, which is how Georgia wound up shooting more free throws in league play than any other SEC team. But the Bulldogs, off their full body of work, probably belong where they’re going, and that’s the NIT.

From myajc.com, our premium site: Trailing Tennessee, the No. 1 Gators refused to lose.

From last night: After a wild win, UGA gets to play Kentucky.

From myajc.com off the Ole Miss game: For Georgia, a game most foul has a sweet ending.

Also from myajc.com: No. 1 Florida isn’t a dominant team, but it might be a great one.

Also from myajc.com: Can UGA cap a wild season with an SEC tournament title?

193 comments
Obama_Joke
Obama_Joke

Hey, Bark.  How many times have you called the suicide hotline since the Dwags missed the dance? Poor guy.

oldmaninatlanta
oldmaninatlanta

Well,the good thing about losing to Kentucky is that Fox can hit the recruiting trail and go after those BIG TIME 2 STAR players he is famous for....and all from Ga.and b4 you remark,check out the roster and u see I am right.Its almost like the AD wont let him even go out of state.Anyway,as long as Fox is coach and they play in that old refurbished agriculture bldg...UGA wont get the big time players.

Dawg350
Dawg350

After all that lame talk....GSU will sitting at home! No tournament for the panthers! Haha! I win again baby! You trolls ain't got nothing on me! Lmao!

Dawg350
Dawg350

GSU lost! Haha! No tournament for them ! Lmao! Hahahahahahahahahahah!

davidv14
davidv14

I love Georgia, and I wish we had as many fans as Kentucky does for basketball.  But, there is some that think "Georgia is just a football school, so they will not support other sports."  That is just dumb!!!    Now, as for Georgia on the basketball court, I believe Georgia needs to take the NIT as their future NCAA.  With only one senior and everyone coming back, they need to get better out and in conference to get to the dance.  I know everyone was happy with their 12-6 SEC record, you know they lose to Auburn and Vanderbilt in conference, and Georgia Tech out of conference.   Look at those records of those teams, yes Georgia should be better than 19-13.  It will not be enough this year because those power conferences will have six or seven teams plus in NCAA, and I can name three conferences that will have them.   ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 will have those in-large bids.   So, again the NIT can be a good start for this basketball program to achieve their goals on the court and off the court with Georgia basketball fans who need to support this program year round.        

midtowncowboy
midtowncowboy

FL and KY are the only SEC schools that should make the NCAA tourney.  Any more and the scum of politics will be apparent.  Then the selection committee should be punished.

Dawg350
Dawg350

I bet you trolls wouldn't say one word to me if I was bashing UGA like poad and bubba does. See I have you trolls pegged! I love UGA so much that it make y'all so pissed off...that y'all lose your minds! But guess what I love it! It's great to be hated by so many! I love it! Go dawgs! Like I said before I've been a dawg for 30 years now...and when I die I will be bulldawg dead! Nothing finer in the land than a drunk& obnoxious Georgia fan! Go dawgs sic em!

Rick_James
Rick_James

Mark Fox is as good as any coach in the SEC when it comes to X's and O's.But where he comes up short is recruiting.And I honestly have no clue what the solution is to that problem.

Dawg350
Dawg350

UGA is best university in the world. I've been a fan now for 30 years baby! UGA will win the natty this year! You haters best believe that! I hate tech...southern and little wimpy georgia state!

SinceVince
SinceVince

Yep there is always next year to build on... The Georgia Way both Football and basketball... Mediocre at best......

TouchdownGurley
TouchdownGurley

I agree, Georgia is not a tournament team this season. But after losing KCP, they did a lot better than I was expecting. Georgia is not losing anybody besides Donte Williams and so we may be able to reach the tournament next season. We should make the NIT and that's a step in the right direction. I expect Frazier and Parker to really improve in the sophomore seasons, as Gaines and Mann did this season. Remember that Parker was recruited by some decent basketball programs (Baylor, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss) so he's got talent.


Overall, Georgia did better than expected this year and given our talent I am pleased with the season. I hope we can build on it. Go dawgs!

CraigSelf
CraigSelf

Dawg350 just wants everyone to die if they don't see things his way. He's already told everyone on this blog he only cares about him self.

CraigSelf
CraigSelf

dawg350, filled with hatred. By the way, I'm not a Tech fan.

TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

Hello Mark. Read your article: UGA made a great run, but it isn’t an NCAA team


I agree with your statement in general, but feel compelled to point out that most of the teams chosen to compete in the NCAA according to the various formulas that are utilized are not really NCAA teams. So why some and not others?


The NCAA could easily by a 16 team event by cutting out the 48 teams that really are not in the same class as the 16 best, but hope to get lucky. And that does happen sometimes. That said the NCAA is a 64 team event because of the TV money and the politics that go on behind the door in college sports.


Wish college sports would go back to being a student pursuit in colleges focused on academic achievement rather than being the minor leagues to pro sports, and an entertainment industry, but it is not going to happen, is it?

CraigSelf
CraigSelf

Dawg350, I bet your one of those fans that don't show up for work after a uga loss. The pain is just to much. lmao

CraigSelf
CraigSelf

Your the one on suicide watch when dawgs fail again to live up to radical fans expectations. Remember, others of us have a life.

Dawg350
Dawg350

UGA is going to win the national title in 2014 and maybe 2015....I feel bad for some of you trolls...y'all will be on suicide watch! Lol

Dawg350
Dawg350

Bubba..

Go post on the bill king blog...their are several haters there just like you.

Dawg350
Dawg350

So what's your point liar? Craig self...now that sounds like a selfish name! Lol! Go dawgs!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Sure you aren't! Go ahead tell another lie...you spineless goat.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Craig

Haha...you know nothing wimp!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Says what? You stero typing? Well I think you're a tech nerd bro! UGA losing has no effect on my health. You don't know me at all. I love UGA win or lose! It won't change a thing!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Dawg350 I hope you do win it , then maybe you will shut the hell up.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Yeah I bet your parents wished they would of used birth control! Dang sick burn!

SinceVince
SinceVince

@Dawg350  I cant... Bill has banned me because I dont partake in the Kool aid

TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

@Dawg350    I am sure you are a good Dawg. So am I. You just need to grow up a little bit. You yap too much like a puppy.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Paul

I thought you nerds knew everything??? Why you have to ask? Well I guess I was wrong! Anyways 12 out of the last 13 and counting! Lmao! Go dawgs baby!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Card

Probably never shutting bad....sorry time disappoint...but not really!

TouchdownGurley
TouchdownGurley

@Dawg350  I'll be one for life as well. Whether we win 11 or 12 games like in '07 and 2012 or lose games we shouldn't because of sorry defensive play. I still love them. And with Pruitt, that defense has a bright future. Good talent AND good coaching for our defensive players. Finally! Pruitt is going to make that defense so much better!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Gurley

Sorry dude...that's just how I feel! Either we will win it or we want...I'm still a dawg for life.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Bucky

Why don't you tell me?? You have it!

Dawg350
Dawg350

No bubba....king just doesn't want to hear negative crap during the off season even before the games are played.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Whatever....you're just sad period. You're just a sorry sack of cow manure.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Old guy

Try harder not to be sarcastic ya hear?

Dawg350
Dawg350

Old dog

I only say what I feel! If it hurts your feelings...then don't read it.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Sure you don't....go ahead and post another lie! Well guess old timer! I'm better than you and I'm pretty confident that I am! Lmfao! Go dawgs!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Dawg350 We dont claim to be the smartest in the world, just smarter than you.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Only because you tech fans proclaim to be the smartest people in the world and blast everyone for their short comings in grammar.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Dawg350 You were just making light of the words i use when i post on here, good grief what a rube.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Card

Sorry but I'm not a tech nerd...I don't obsess on everyone's vocabulary. Just not interested.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Dawg350 Probably never shutting bad, maybe you should use some small words jr.

TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

@Dawg350 I am sure you are a good Dawg. So am I. You just need to grow up a little bit. You yap too much like a puppy.