This was a win from a confident team. A team that's found its footing here in late January. Gone are the days Georgia looked completely confused. I was there in Charleston when the Bulldogs looked dumbfounded in a blowout loss to Davidson.
That team is dead – this one is not.
Georgia, again, punished its opponent on the glass – this time wearing out the Gamecocks 39-27 in rebounds. Dunks? Yep – several. Three pointers? No problem. This team, maybe I should put this in another paragraph I need to think about it a little…
Look this is the first time in about four years that Georgia looked like… (wait now, am I sure about this?) a NCAA Tournament team.
There. I said it.
Are they going to win the conference? Nope.
Are they going to take the runner-up spot? Nope.
But are they turning the corner this season? Sure seems like it.
Look at the schedule. Georgia should lose at Kentucky on Saturday. They should probably lose at Tennessee (I guess). The Dawgs are in a three-way tie for second place in the SEC right now with the Cats and Ole Miss – and the Rebs come to Athens where Georgia is pretty good this year (save that ugly affair vs. Tech earlier in the year).
So what's left? A manageable path to a 18-12 overall and 12-6 in SEC play.
@ Kentucky – Loss
vs. Vanderbilt – Win
@ Auburn – Win
vs. LSU – Win
vs. Texas A&M – Win (should be)
@ State – Loss
vs. Ole Miss – Win
@ UT – Loss
@ USC – Win
vs. Missouri – Win
@ Arkansas – Loss (I guess)
vs. State – Win
@ LSU – Loss
Then some work will have to be done at the Dome in Atlanta in the SEC Tournament. But at 12-6 in SEC Georgia might get a double bye into the quarterfinals, but it actually might benefit playing (and winning) one more game as the #5 seed in the SECs.
If the Dawgs have 18 wins going into the SECs they will probably need two wins to get into the NCAAs. That means beating a legit team in the SEC – and that will be the make-or-break game of the season in my view.
That's a lot of ifs, but the path is there so long as the Dawgs continue to play well in Athens and take care of the junk on the road – and make no mistake about it… there is some junk in the SEC for sure.