ATHENS — The consensus seems to be that Georgia needs to win the SEC tournament to get an NCAA tournament bid, or at least make it to the championship game to get in the discussion.
But Mark Fox, after his team won its third straight game on Saturday, started the lobbying for it to not require that much.
The first question Fox got at his postgame press conference was whether his team was “starting to look like an NCAA tournament team.” Fox took a long sip of water.
“Here’s what I think: Someone pointed out to me this morning that there was a school that’s 1-7 on the road, and hadn’t played a tough schedule, and was considered to be the last four in, the last four out, whatever,” Fox said, alluding to an unspecified team. “I still feel like we still have some work to do. But we’ve played an incredibly difficult schedule, and we have defeated some very good teams. And our kids have refused to give into adversity. We continue to get better and we continue to scratch out a few more.
“And we need to scratch out a few more. But if we do scratch out a couple more, then I think we’re obviously worthy of some serious consideration. But we obviously need to go to Nashville and get something done.”
At the moment Georgia’s resume’ is clearly in need of at least a few more wins. It is still ranked only 70th in the RPI as of Sunday. The Bulldogs (17-12 overall, 10-8 in the SEC) didn’t have any wins over top 50 teams, with South Carolina ranked No. 51. And the problem for Georgia is that by knocking out the Gamecocks in the quarterfinals — if that happens — it would pretty much seal the Gamecocks not being a top 50 win.
Georgia’s current record against the top 100 is 5-11, and it has only three road wins. The loss at Auburn (146th in the RPI) is also in the negative ledger.
On the positive side, Georgia still has games to play next week, and it may finally be playing its best ball of the season. But it’s very likely it needs to at least get to Sunday in Nashville to have a reasonable shot.