Dawgs' next week critical

ATHENS – Georgia did what it had to do last week, winning a rare two straight conference games.

What it does in the next two weeks will determine where the Bulldogs spend the postseason or if there's a postseason at all. Georgia (10-5, 2-1 SEC) shook off the stink of a four-game losing streak against conference cellar dwellers South Carolina and Vanderbilt at home in their last two outings.

The next 15 days will be a tougher climb. The Bulldogs play at Arkansas tonight at 9 p.m. in a game televised by ESPNU and follow that with games at No. 10 Alabama, at home against No. 25 Kentucky and No. 16 LSU and back on the road against No. 22 Tennessee.

Georgia head coach Dennis Felton and his players are holding tightly to the "one-game-at-a-time" cliché.

"As a matter of fact, I'm not even that familiar with (the schedule) myself," Felton said. "I know who we play this week."

Felton also knows about the timing of the LSU game, he said, but only because he has been helping plan a memorial service for former player Kevin Brophy as part of that game.

"I just know that you can't have a tougher stretch than playing in this league, especially in this division," Felton said. "I know that the rest of the season is going to be one terribly difficult game after another. That's our league. I'd probably lose my mind if I thought I about it too much."

Georgia is above .500 in the league thanks to just its second two-game SEC winning streak in two seasons. Not since Felton's first year, 2004, has Georgia won three straight in the SEC.

But if the Bulldogs can survive this first half of their conference schedule at.500 and be 4-4 at the end of this five-game stretch, they will be nicely prepared for a final eight games that are more friendly in both location and opponent.

"It's tough to win games in the SEC so the sooner you can win them the better," senior Steve Newman said. "You don't want to be trying to come from behind at the end to get the wins you need to boost your record. It's going to take 18 or 19 wins to get an NCAA bid and you don't want to have to win your last four, so the next two weeks are really important."

This also could be a swing game for the Razorbacks (12-5, 1-2 SEC), head coach Stan Heath said. Arkansas started the SEC season with a statement, whipping Alabama 88-61. They followed that up with a six-point loss to Florida in Gainesville, Fla., but then lost all that momentum in a 74-72 loss at Ole Miss.

"This is an important game," Heath said. "We need to protect our home court and get our confidence back."


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