The Georgia Bulldogs Men’s Basketball team has hit rough waters, and other than a quick turnaround, they will be relegated to the shipyard of what-ifs.
You know that scene in The Princess Bride where Wesley, after having been placed in the “Pit of Despair” by Prince Humperdinck, is taken by Inigo Montoya and Fezzik to Miracle Max to be revived? Well this 2016-17 UGA Men’s Basketball team is in Wesley territory.
Going back to January 14th, the Dawgs have lost 6 of 7 games, and are entering the last stretch of the regular season. It might seem silly to some, but still, there is a faint hope that they can still make the NCAA Tournament.
When one peruses the remaining schedule, one sees that 4 of the last 7 games are home games. That is always a plus. Now, one of those home games is against Freshmen phenom laden Kentucky, so one assumes that will be a loss. Basic mathematical extrapolation shows that, after removing the Kentucky game, 3 of the last 6 games are home games (Miss St., LSU, Auburn). Common sense dictates that, for Georgia to be relevant in March, they will need to win all of these remaining home games.
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The road games remaining on UGA’s schedule will be that proof that everybody talks about. Those games feature contests against Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas, respectively. One surmises, based on current projections and calculations, that UGA would need to win, at least, 2 of these games to even sniff a look from the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, and probably all of them. Tennessee is a good looking team right now, and the “Tommy Bowl” isn’t an easy place to play. An Alabama win would counter a 20 point drubbing Georgia took at their hands in Athens earlier this year. The Razorbacks are currently 17-7, and are dreaming of their own dancing shoes and Cinderella moment. None of those road games will be easy. In fact, all look daunting.
This is the point , though. For Georgia to wash that wasteful taste away, they will need to beat teams they have been losing to recently. The last seven games remaining on that schedule afford the ability to correct course and start navigating toward a meaningful run in the SEC Tournament. It won’t be easy, and like Wesley, they are on the table and seem unresponsive.
But if Mark Fox can do his best Miracle Max impression, and bring this team back to life, the Dawgs still have a chance to save the day. Unlike Wesley, though, true love won’t save them here. It’ll take improved defense, fewer turnovers, and improved ball movement. It would also help if Derek Ogbeide played like Andre the Giant in the paint.