Georgia Bulldogs: NCAA tournament

ATHENS, Ga. -- Half-court buzzer-beaters, last-second jump shots, ill-timed and questionable whistles -- all of those elements have contributed to a series of last-minute losses for Georgia in the last two months.

“We keep it interesting,” said Bulldogs forward Nemanja Djurisic, whose team’s most recent loss came Saturday, when Alabama’s Trevor Releford drained a 60-footer at the buzzer to give the Crimson Tide a 61-58 victory.

[+] EnlargeGeorgia
AP Photo/Vasha Hunt/Alabama Media GroupEven with Alabama's win over Georgia last weekend, the Bulldogs' average margin of loss in a 13-game stretch in SEC play is just 4.6 points.
But while Djurisic and the Bulldogs have lost more than their fair share of heartbreakers since late January, they have also proved something to themselves.

“We know we can compete with any team in the league if we play the way we can play to win,” Freshman All-SEC point guard Charles Mann said. “So that’s not really a big problem with us. It gave us a lot of confidence.”

This young Georgia team got off to an atrocious start, first by dropping seven of their first nine games of the season and then by starting SEC play with a 1-4 mark. And yet as the season progressed, SEC Player of the Year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the way, freshmen like Mann, forward Brandon Morris and shooting guard Kenny Gaines began to settle in and the Bulldogs suddenly became competitive.

Entering Thursday’s SEC tournament opener against LSU (18-11, 9-9 SEC), Georgia (15-16, 9-9) has won eight of its last 13 conference games -- and every game the Bulldogs lost easily could have been a victory. Their widest margin of defeat in that 13-game stretch was a 10-point loss at Ole Miss, but that came in overtime after forward Donte Williams missed a tip-in that would have won the game at the end of regulation. Including that loss, Georgia’s average margin of defeat in those games is just 4.6 points.

(Read full post)

The Georgia women's basketball team heads into the NCAA tournament as a No. 4 seed and will first face 13-seed Marist at Chapel Hill, N.C. Despite losing in its conference semifinals, Kentucky moved up to a No. 2 seed after a wild weekend of upsets in the ACC, Big Ten and SEC tourneys. Read here.

And Charlie Creme writes: Is a neutral site worth a lower seed? Determining the No. 2 seeds will be the selection committee's toughest task next weekend. But this season, being a 3-seed has its advantages, like playing at a neutral site in the first and second rounds.

Bulldogs: Bubble-busting specialists 

February, 14, 2012
2/14/12
1:25
PM ET
I don't suppose many of us expected Georgia to make the NCAA basketball tournament before the season started -- and the Bulldogs' 1-7 start in SEC play certainly clinched that outcome (although I guess the 2008 UGA team taught us to never rule out a miracle at the conference tournament. Let's hope New Orleans doesn't get hit by another natural disaster, though, for that wonderful city's sake).

Anyway, ESPN college basketball blogger Eamonn Brennan is taking a look at the possible NCAA tournament entries and bubble teams today and there is a common thread for Georgia's last two opponents, Arkansas and Mississippi State. Their tourney resumes took hits in the last week after losses to Georgia. In fact, Arkansas has darn near fallen off the bubble.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

The top five freshmen in the SEC
The SEC Network highlights the best freshmen football players from the SEC this year.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

SEC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12