The Bulldogs heard their name called early during the Selection Sunday show, solidly in the field as a #10 seed, set to play Washington in the East Regional at about 9:30 on Friday night. Seeing the Georgia logo placed within the bracket sent the team into party mode in the locker room.
"They jumped around like 7-year-olds that just won the Little League championship," Coach Mark Fox said of his team. "Guys that maybe didn't have great relationships when I walked in the door were hugging each other and it was really a terrific moment—one that I'll cherish the moment of seeing them celebrate like that."
"Just seeing our whole team jump around in the locker room, hug each other as much as we did—it was a blessing," said junior Trey Thompkins.
It's the first time since 2002 Georgia has received an at-large bid and the first time in the Big Dance since 2009, when the Bulldogs won the SEC tournament in improbable fashion.
"It's one of the best feelings ever," said senior Chris Barnes. "It feels so good because we didn't have to win the SEC Tournament to get in this time."
Georgia now finds itself amid arguable the toughest region in the field of 68, joining Ohio State, North Carolina, Syracuse and Kentucky.
"We did what we set out to do," said guard Gerald Robinson. "Now we've got to get focused on playing the game. We've made the tournament. Now we need to get prepared to win."