NASHVILLE – The morning after Georgia escaped its first game in the SEC tournament, and before it tries to do something it hasn’t done since 1984, here are five more things to know about the Bulldogs:
- Good stats: Georgia has reached the SEC quarterfinals for the sixth time in coach Mark Fox’s seven years at Georgia. It will be seeking to reach the semifinals for the third straight year. Fox is now 6-1 in opening SEC tournament games.
- Bad stat: Fox is 0-5 in the second game of SEC tournaments.
- Georgia’s RPI rank has inched up to 67, per CBSsports.com, a five-spot improvement from Thursday. South Carolina sits at 53. Other notable RPI ranks: Florida (51), Vanderbilt (60), Georgia Tech (65), Alabama (68), LSU (92), Ole Miss (96).
- From a purely speculative – but educated – perspective, Georgia is probably safely in the NIT after Thursday’s win. I also think, the more I look at it and talk to people, that if Georgia were to reach the SEC championship game it would have a reasonable shot at an at-large bid. But that probably requires beating Kentucky … and of course South Carolina first.
- Something to watch today: Michael Carrera, perhaps South Carolina’s best player, is no guarantee to play. He’s been dealing with a leg injury and the latest word as of Wednesday was that he’s questionable. It may come down to whether Gamecocks coach Frank Martin thinks his team is safe enough in its NCAA fate, much like Fox decided last year to sit Kenny Gaines (dealing with a foot injury) in last year’s semifinal game against Arkansas. Fox actually did some subtle lobbying on Thursday, telling Martin in person that South Carolina is in, and then saying at his postgame press conference that the Gamecocks are “comfortably in the field.”