The Dogs are going dancing
Sunday evening, at coach Mark Fox’s house, the Georgia basketball team got big news. They were headed to Charlotte. A No. 10 seed in the NCAA tournament was officially theirs, and a 12:40 p.m. tipoff against No. 7 seed Michigan State (23-11) was penciled in for Friday. “I was overwhelmed with joy,” junior Kenny Gaines said. “It was the first time that I have ever been so excited that it brought me to tears. I am indeed admitting that I cried earlier today. It was just a great moment for me and my team.” After anxiously awaiting the announcement, the Bulldogs’ celebration following the seeding selection was a personification of a season-long goal finally accomplished. “We were laughing, giggling, smiling, hugging,” senior Nemanja Djurisic said. “It was a really special moment.” Georgia’s 2015 bid to the tournament is their first trip to The Big Dance since 2011, in which they lost to Washington in the first round—in Charlotte. Throughout the season, it has been apparent that while the team focused on the next game on the schedule, each win and loss was part of a big equation that equaled postseason fate. And as the season continued, it seemed that injuries would be the Bulldogs’ biggest opponent of the season. “There are ups and downs, and there’s tough times in the season especially when you hit around mid-season and you know you’ve come a long way but you know you’ve got a long way to go,” senior Taylor Echols said. Gaines, who has struggled with multiple injuries this season, added to Echols’ sentiments about the difficult season. “It’s been a long year for us,” Gaines said. “We’ve been through a lot between injuries and a lot going on. We’re just thankful we’ve been able to weather the storm. Now we get a chance to keep on playing.” Knowing that they will face the Spartans nearly a week after their SEC tournament semifinals defeat, the Bulldogs get a chance to recuperate some of the end-of-season wear and tear on their bodies. “It’s good for us that we have a few days to recover,” Djurisic said. “It’s been a long season and we’ve dealt with a lot of injuries and some fatigue.” The winner of Georgia-Michigan State will go on to play the winner of Virginia-Belmont on Saturday.
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