Time To Get Happy

ATHENS - This couldn't have worked out much better.

When I say it couldn’t have worked out much better I’m not talking about facing Tom Izzo, who has taken Michigan State to six Final Fours and a national title in 2000. You are going to get difficult draws once you start playing.

But look at Georgia’s situation like this: They are playing close to home and face a Michigan State team that’s been up and down (lost at home to Illinois, Minnesota and Texas Southern) and could face a Viginia team that’s lost two of its last three games.

Will Georgia be favored in either contest? I don’t think so. But this group, hobbled and imperfect like most No. 10 seeds, does have the ability to beat the likes of Michigan State. And it has shown that it can play with big-time programs.

Anyone who has seen Kentucky up close and personal twice isn’t going to be nervous about taking the floor against Virginia. I’m not suggesting that Georgia will get to the Sweet 16 - no. What I am saying is that in all of the scenarios out there this was the best one.

And program insiders know it, too.

This about the travel situation: A cross-country trip to far off was avoided… have fun in Seattle Davidson. The only thing better for Georgia might have been to play in Jacksonville, but the cards didn’t fall right with the Dawgs being anywhere from a No. 7 to No. 10 seed.

The other great thing about Charlotte is that Georgia will have another day to rest Kenny Gaines and the rest of the crew. Gaines didn’t play in Saturday’s loss to Arkansas in Nashville, so he will have a fun week to heal up as much as possible to the Spartans.

Traditionally, CBS has taken Duke for its 7 PM Friday night game. If CBS grabs the Blue Devils, who are also in the Charlotte pod, that would mean that Georgia and Michigan State would likely play either the noon or 12:30 PM game in Charlotte.

No matter what time the Dawgs tip on Friday the reality is that they have a difficult, but not impossible path to the Sweet 16. We’ve not been able to say that for some time, and that’s a major step forward.

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