Bulldog Bracketology: Does UGA still have a chance to make the NCAA Tournament?

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UGA hoops coach Mark Fox

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UGA still has some tourney hope

Georgia hoops recorded its fourth win in its last five games on Saturday against LSU, and its second consecutive win sans Yante Maten. In Maten’s absence, J.J. Frazier had his own personal flu game. The senior went off, putting the team on his back to the tune of 29 points in the 82-80 victory.

This small run after the nightmare stretches in late January and early November is just what Georgia needs to try and salvage the season. The Dawgs are now 17-12, 8-8 in the SEC, and have an outside shot at making it to March Madness, according to some bracketologists.

The person highest on Georgia seems to be Shelby Mast of BracketWAG. Mast has Georgia firmly on the bubble as one of the first four teams out of the bracket, along with Rhode Island, Clemson and Illinois. Although they are out at the moment, with two games and the conference tournament remaining, there may be time to play into the field. Here’s what USA Today’s Scott Gleeson said about Georgia:

Georgia (17-12, 8-8) barely got past SEC bottom-feeder LSU in an 82-80 decision. Had the Bulldogs lost, their at-large hopes would’ve been squashed as they already own a bad loss to Oakland. Instead, they’re still highly in the mix. Despite no decent victories on its profile, UGA has a top-20 strength of schedule to keep it in the discussion.

Jerry Palm of CBS Sports also lists Georgia in the first four out, while Chris Dobbertean of SB Nation has the Dawgs in the group after the first four out. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi didn’t have Georgia listed anywhere in his latest analysis, but he posts updates on Mondays, so that could change by the time you read this.

So what does Georgia have playing in its favor? As Gleeson mentioned above, strength of schedule. The Bulldogs have the 18th toughest schedule in the nation according to KenPom, 21st toughest based on RPI. But honestly, that’s about it as far as positives go.

The problem comes when you look at how Georgia did against that schedule. Against teams in the RPI top 50, UGA is a miserable 1-7. In that are two close games with Kentucky and an overtime loss to Florida. But when push comes to shove, it’s difficult to imagine the selection committee picking a team that has shown it struggles to win against eventual tourney teams.

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