ATHENS — The SEC league office handed Georgia basketball an opportunity to make a statement with the revised schedule it sent out on Thursday afternoon.
At least, that’s the positive way to look at it.
The Bulldogs (14-9, 7-9 SEC) will play host to first-place Alabama (18-6, 13-2) at 2 p.m. on March 6 in Stegeman Coliseum (TV: CBS).
The game with the Tide essentially replaces 12th-place Texas A&M (8-7, 2-6) on Georgia’s schedule.
The rescheduling means Georgia will have played four of the top six teams in the SEC twice this season: Alabama, LSU, Florida and Ole Miss. To date, the Bulldogs are 3-4 in those games.
South Carolina (13th place) is the other team UGA will have played twice, presuming the game scheduled at 1 p.m. this Saturday in Stegeman Coliseum takes place.
Alabama manhandled the Bulldogs on Feb. 13 in Tuscaloosa, 115-82, hitting a remarkable 60 percent (18 of 30) beyond the 3-point stripe while Georgia struggled to make just 2 of 19 from three.
The Bulldogs played porous defense that day in Coleman Coliseum, unable to stop the ball in transition, and getting caught in help defense.
Alabama fans reveled in the win, taking to social media to continue to mock Georgia fans who have been frustrated by the football team’s inability to beat the Tide under Kirby Smart (0-3).
Alabama basketball ran up the score on Georgia in the final minutes of the last meeting, bombing away from three despite holding a lead of more than 20 points.
Georgia has since bounced back to win two of its past three games, topping projecting NCAA tournament teams Missouri (80-70) and LSU (91-78) in Stegeman Coliseum.
Still, when SEC tournament odds were released earlier this week Georgia was a 100-1 underdog. The league tournament will be held March 10-14 in Bridgestone Arena, with approximately 3,400 fans (20 percent) allowed to attend.
The final schedule shuffle, a result of games being postponed on account of COVID-19, means Georgia will not get to play Texas A&M this season.