NCAA Tournament: Georgia vs. Murray State

Check out this great guide to the game from DawgPost beat writer Charles Odum.


When/Where: Friday night, approximately 10:15 p.m. ET (25 minutes following the completion of the Southern Illinois-Texas Tech game, scheduled for a 7:50 p.m. ET start), United Center, Chicago.
Records: Georgia (21-9 overall, 10-6 Southeastern Conference), Murray State (19-12 overall, 10-6 in Ohio Valley Conference).
Radio/TV: WRCG-AM 1420/CBS
Murray State starters: F Antione Whelchel, 6-5, Jr. (12.1 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game); F Cuthbert Victor, 6-5, So. (11.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg); C James Singleton, 6-8, Jr. (12.2 ppg, 10.0 rpg); G Justin Burdine, 6-1, Sr. (20.4 ppg, 2.5 assists per game); G Kevin Paschel, 5-11, Jr. (7.5 ppg, 3.9 apg).
Georgia starters: F Jarvis Hayes, 6-6, So. (17.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg); F Chris Daniels, 6-7, So. (11.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg); F Steve Thomas, 6-8, So. (8.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg); G Ezra Williams, 6-4, Jr. (16.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg); G Rashad Wright, 6-0, So. (8.6 ppg, 4.6 apg).
A player to watch may be Murray State backup center Andi Hornig, a 7-foot, 272-pound sophomore from Germany who had started every game of his career but was lost with a knee injury after 16 games this season. Coach Tevester Anderson says Hornig will be available in a backup role tonight.

Hornig was averaging only 4.1 points and 4.8 rebounds before his injury, but he would pose a significant matchup problem for Georgia, which starts 6-foot-8 Steve Thomas at center and has no other player taller than 6-foot-7.

Georgia and Murray State match up well in size with their starters, but one advantage for the Bulldogs could come on the wing, where 6-foot-4 Ezra Williams may be guarded by 6-foot-1 Justin Burdine. Georgia also has to find a way to guard Burdine, a strong 3-point shooter.

Another player to watch for Murray State is Cuthbert Victor, a sophomore forward who is averaging 16 points and 7.6 rebounds in his last three games.

Murray State has suffered eight first-round losses in the NCAA tournament since beating North Carolina State in 1988. Georgia has lost its last two first-round games since advancing to the Sweet 16 in 1996.

Georgia has had one week to regroup since falling to LSU in its SEC tournament opener. That left the Bulldogs with two straight losses and six losses in their last 11 games. Coach Jim Harrick hopes the lift of receiving the No. 3 seed in the East Regional will help his team recover its intensity.

The Georgia-Murray State winner will play the Texas Tech-Southern Illinois winner Sunday at approximately 4:40 p.m. ET.

— Compiled by Charles Odum

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