Dawgs face a NCAA challenge

Georgia enters the 2002 NCAA tournament with its highest seeding ever. The Dawgs are a long cry from this point last season when they barely made the tournament. But the NCAA tournament still presents Georgia with a significant challenge.

Georgia enters the 2002 NCAA tournament with its highest seeding ever. The Dawgs are a long cry from this point last season when they barely made the tournament. But the NCAA tournament still presents Georgia with a significant challenge.

Georgia has not had an illustrious history in the NCAA tournament, the Dawgs are just 6-8 all time in the NCAA tournament with five of those six wins coming in seasons where they went very deep into the tournament (1996 and 1983).

However, Georgia, the number there seed in the East, has done better when seeded in the East than when seeded in any other region. Overall Georgia is 4-3 in the East and a combined 2-5 in all other regions.

One problem that Georgia may have is that they are seeded very high. In all time NCAA games, Georgia is only 1-5 when facing teams that are seeded lower than they are. As many remember the last time that Georgia was a number three seed they were knocked off by Chattanooga 73-70 in Charlotte.

The last time that Georgia beat a team that the were supposed to beat according to seeding was in 1985 when Hugh Durham lead the number six seeded Dawgs past Wichita State, the number eleven seed in the East that year.

But this season, Georgia is supposed to get to the Sweet 16. Will that happen? Not according to the history books.

Only twice has Georgia won more than one game in the NCAA tournament, those wins coming in 1997 and 1983. Georgia has lost in the first round of the NCAA five times.

The Dawgs also have never won an overtime game in NCAA history. They lost to eventual NCAA finalist Syracuse in 1996 in overtime, to number six seed Pitt in 1991, and lost to number nine seed Kansas State in 1987.

The NCAA might be a sore spot for the Georgia program, but it is a source of pride for Jim Harrick. Jim Harrick has taken four separate teams to the NCAAs; Georgia, Rhode Island, UCLA, and Pepperdine. His overall record in the NCAAs is 17-14 (.548).

Harrick has accomplished a lot in the NCAAs. He was a quarterfinalist twice with Rhode Island in 1998 and UCLA in 1992. He also won the national title with the Bruins in 1995.

With all of that in mind, Georgia should be happy with one statistic; the Dawgs are 6-3 this season against NCAA teams.

Dean Legge can be reached here: dean@dawgpost.com


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