The University of Georgia will play the University of Alabama soon in a very big game. Just not the one you are thinking of.
You might’ve heard that there is a big game on the horizon between UGA and Bama. One that will have serious implications and could point toward the future and direction of each program. The one referred to here, though, is not the National Championship game in football to be played Monday night in Atlanta. We’re talking the college basketball tilt between those two schools on Saturday.
Even without the nail-biting, career defining, legacy making, state pride showdown on Monday as a backdrop, this basketball game means something. UGA comes in (10-3) and looking to make noise in the SEC. Currently (1-1) in conference, the Dawgs look to have a team that could make a run into the NCAA Tournament.
Meaning, with a mix of Senior leadership (Maten and Parker), dudes who have grown and developed their game (Ogbeide), and an infusion of young über talented kids (Hammonds, Jackson, Crump, Claxton), UGA is a tough out.
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Alabama is no slouch. They come into this game (9-5), but have played better than that record suggests. Bama had a crazy game against Minnesota where all but 5 players were ejected. Most recently, the Tide lost a close one at Vanderbilt.
If for no other reason, this game will be interesting as a showcase for two of the best players in the league, the aforementioned Yante Maten and Collin Sexton. Both of those dudes can control vast swaths of a game and fill it up. They are worth the price of admission and your attention.
That said, while the game itself should be good enough to warrant watching, don’t discount what the vibe will be like when they tip at high noon on Saturday. The fans know. The players know. The coaches all know.
This is the first salvo in an all out war between these two schools in a matter of days. A war that will make a mark in sport history for the winner. To think that the basketball players repping their school, and coaches doing the same, won’t have a little extra juice would be naïve.
You want to see a college basketball game where the crowd is lit and the fever is amped to 11? Forget Duke. It ain’t Kentucky. North Carolina is an after thought.
Tune in to the SEC Network at 12 PM EDT on 01/06/2018. That joint will be popping. Those kids will be balling.
Like that network likes to say: It’ll just mean more.