Date: March 1, 2014
Tip-off Time: 4:00 PM ET
TV Channel: SEC Network, ESPN3 (Online)
It has been a week filled with “bubble” talk surrounding the Georgia basketball program, and they are still basking in the glow of an impressive, 17-point beatdown of Missouri on Tuesday night. The path to the tournament isn’t exactly an easy one, though, and the next step begins with a tough road test at Arkansas on Saturday.
Georgia is ahead of the Razorbacks in the SEC standings, but in just about every “advanced” metric, Arkansas looks like the better team. They are currently ranked in the top-50 of KenPom and top-60 in the RPI (both higher than UGA), and much of that damage comes with a top-100 unit on both sides of the ball. There isn’t a single standout player for Arkansas, but they are a talented, athletic bunch and Mark Fox’s club will have their hands full here.
Las Vegas has installed Georgia as an 8.5-point underdog in the game (and KenPom projects a 7-point loss), and while many people will be surprised by that sort of “deficit”, it is a nod to how good Arkansas has been at home, with only 2 defeats all season to Kentucky (in overtime) and Missouri. This is a very, very tough ball game for the Dawgs, but if they want to confirm their status as even a fringe “bubble” team, this is an unequivocal must-win.
Stay tuned for updates as they arise.