Greetings from Bessemer (mucho), Alabama, where this weary reporter will pass along a few numbers before heading home to Athens. Here are some statws of interest after the Georgia men's basketball team got a critical win Saturday night:
NCAA tournament resume'
- Georgia's RPI rank has inched up to 38 as of Sunday morning, per CBSsports.com. Beyond its own ranking, here are the other pertinent stats the NCAA selection committee looks at:
- In terms of quality wins and bad losses, Georgia has two RPI top-50 wins (No. 32 Ole Miss and No. 33 Texas A&M), while it has two sub-100 losses (No. 107 Georgia Tech and No. 139 Auburn.) But South Carolina is sitting right at 100 also.
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- Georgia's record vs. the RPI top 50 is 2-3 (losses to No. 2 Kentucky, No. 8 Gonzaga and No. 20 Arkansas.)
- Its record vs. the RPI top 100 is 6-5 (also wins over No. 71 Seton Hall, No. 76 Florida, No. 80 Alabama and No. 85 Tennessee, and a loss to No. 90 Minnesota.)
- Four years ago, the last time Georgia made the NCAA tournament, its record vs. the RPI top 100 was 5-10. And its own RPI rank was 45. So right now the Bulldogs are in better shape.
- A few other schedule/RPI notes: There are a bunch of teams Georgia should root for down the stretch to move their way into the RPI top 100: No. 105 Kansas State, No. 108 Chattanooga, No. 116 Stony Brook, No. 119 Vanderbilt and No. 124 Colorado. (And it wouldn't hurt for South Carolina to stay there, and Georgia Tech and Auburn to move up in the rankings either.)
- Perhaps the best thing the Bulldogs have going for them is their road wins: They have six of them, including four in SEC play, and two over top-100 teams. If Kansas State, Chattanooga and Vanderbilt climb into the top 100, that road record for the Bulldogs really becomes a strength.
- In fact Georgia has been almost as good on the road as at home this season: Its overall home record is 11-3, while it's 6-4 on the road. (But 0-2 on a neutral court.) Georgia now has four two-game losing streaks this season, and has snapped three of them with road victories.
Looking ahead to the SEC tournament, it's going to be tough for Georgia to get the double-bye, which goes to the top four seeds. Georgia and LSU are tied for fifth place with 8-6 records, two games behind Texas A&M and Ole Miss. The good news for Georgia is it holds the tiebreaker over both teams ahead of it, and if it wins at Ole Miss on Wednesday it would keep the tiebreaker, so it's do-able.
The further good news is the Bulldogs probably can't fall further than sixth place, as they have a two-game lead and the tiebreaker over the three teams tied for seventh (Alabama, Tennessee and Florida.)
The SEC tourney seeding could become a big factor if the Bulldogs need at least a win in Nashville to solidify their NCAA hopes. If the season ended today they would be the No. 6 seed and would face the winner of an 11-14 game between Mississippi State and Missouri. But there's also the possibility of playing South Carolina or Auburn, and we all know how those match-ups have gone for the Bulldogs this year.