Kendall's Take: Dawgs start SECs

ATHENS - Josh Kendall breaks down Georgia's first game of the SEC Tournament.

Georgia vs. Arkansas
Time/place: Today, 9:45 p.m., Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville, Tenn.
Broadcast: Jefferson-Pilot television
Records: Georgia is 15-14, 5-11 SEC; Arkansas is 21-8, 10-6 SEC

About Arkansas: The Razorbacks' five-game winning streak is the second-longest in the conference, behind only LSU's six. "We're pleased with the momentum we've been gathering, and we feel like we're playing our best basketball right now," Coach Stan Heath said. "We have played everybody very consistent head to head throughout the season. I like our chances. We have enough depth to play multiple games and win." … Arkansas' six SEC losses have come by an average of 2.7 points. Its biggest conference loss was a five-point defeat at the hands of LSU.

About Georgia: Only once since 1979 has Georgia finished the regular season against the same team it played in the first round of the conference tournament. That came in 1985, when Tennessee beat the Bulldogs in Knoxville to finish the regular season and then lost to Georgia five days later. … Leading scorer Levi Stukes (11.8 ppg) has promised he won't pout today despite playing just three minutes in the second half Sunday. Stukes has scored just two, three, and four points in three of the last four games. His scoring average is 3.5 points per game smaller than it was a year ago. … Guard Mike Mercer was named to the SEC's all-freshman team on Wednesday. He was the only Bulldog to earn any conference honor. Mercer is Georgia's second-leading scorer at 10.8 points per game.

Scouting report: The Bulldogs have one advantage heading into today's game, and it's that they can't play much worse than they did in losing 74-57 to this same team Sunday. The Razorbacks have only seen the Bulldogs' worst, and while they insisted after the first game that they wouldn't overlook the second, it will be hard considering how easily they won Sunday. Georgia committed 16 turnovers to Arkansas' six and was outrebounded 45-41. The rebounding disadvantage is no surprise but the lack of defense is. The Bulldogs forced at least 13 turnovers out of every other SEC opponent this season. If Georgia can play better defense and keep Ronnie Brewer from getting another 25 points, they have a chance.

Up next: Winner plays Eastern Division No. 2 seed Florida, Friday, 9:45 p.m.

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