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January 26, 2010

Ranking the Difficulty of Remaining B-ball Games

To have any shot whatsoever at any post-season tourney including the NIT, CBI or CIT, would require a winning record which means winning at least 16 games. In reality, we'd need 17 wins to lock us in somewhere, but 16 would at least get us into the mix.

The Bulldogs were 8-5 through the non-conference schedule. The most realistic options for making it to 16 wins are:
    Option A:
    8-5 non-conference
    8-8 SEC Regular Season
    0-1 SEC Tourney

    Option B:
    8-5 non-conference
    7-9 SEC Regular Season
    1-1 SEC Tourney
There are other scenarios, but they are much less reasonable. With that in mind, here's my shot at ranking the difficulty of the remaining 12 SEC Regular Season Games.

Difficulty: Date Time TV Opponent
1 2/3 7:00 p.m. CSS Arkansas
2 2/13 4:00 p.m. SECN SC
3 2/20 4:00 p.m. SECN Alabama
4 2/10 9:00 p.m. CSS at Auburn
5 3/6 5:00 p.m. FSN at LSU
6 1/30 7:00 p.m. FSN at SC
7 2/27 4:00 p.m. SECN Florida
8 2/6 8:00 p.m. FSN Vandy
9 2/25 7:00 p.m. ESPNU at Vandy
10 1/27 7:00 p.m. CSS at UF
11 2/17 8:00 p.m. SECN at UT
12 3/3 8:00 p.m. SECN Kentucky

Just remember that every time we lose a game against a team with an easier degree of difficulty, we have to make up that win against a team with a tougher degree of difficulty.

One piece of minor good news...we only play two more road weekend games this season. In the SEC, the weekend crowds are much larger and tougher. It's not a big thing, but it's a little helpful. The bad news...we've only won 2 road games in the past three seasons.

In case you were wondering, we'd probably need 10 SEC wins plus two SEC tourney wins to make the NCAA Tourney, and we're a long way from talking about that. The next two games at Florida on Wednesday and at South Carolina on Saturday are big opportunities. Particularly, the game vs. the Chickens.

What are your thoughts? Do I have the rankings wildly out of order?



Standup! said...

I think it is tough for a team with 8 losses already in January to make any tourney, however, I think the best thing for these kids is not get down on themselves if they lose more games, but learn from them and be that one team no one wants to play in the SEC tourney. I just hope the wheels don't fall off the wagon tomorrow night on the ROAD. But after 5 years of darkness, these kids really do play with a completely different attitude win or lose than we have seen in a long time. By the way, just called Columbia and got two seats for Saturdays' game. Only 3 hour drive and tickets still available.

Optimistic Student Fan said...

My hope is that we can go 5-1 in the remainder of our home games with possible losses to Vandy or UK.

And also take wins at Auburn and LSU while going 1-1 against [SC and UF] and also [Vandy and UT].

That'd put as at 10-6 SEC play + 8-5 nonconference + 2-1 SEC Tourny = 20-12.

However thats my wishful thinking scenario. We need a true road win first.

In any case, I just love seeing team go out and play solid, hard fought, competitive basketball. If we pick up a few more losses than that, I'm still going to be there cheering.

stick jackson said...

This is a tremendous feel-good time for a program that has has provided its fans with little but frustration recently and for most of its history.

Having said that, the road to even the CIT is going to be a tough one. Your seventh win is UF at home, hardly a gimme. Not having a slip in any of those seven is going to be extremely hard, and if we do, making it up with a win from the bottom four will be enormously difficult.

On the other hand, who expected the team to play event with UK in Rupp? This is an extremely well coached team, and thus it may well be capable of things few others in the program's history have been.

Any post-season will be a great accomplishment, and something to celebrate. And, if we don't quite manage to climb out of the hole, we're still on the right vector.

JJBA said...

Looks about right. A lot of people won't get real excited about NIT talk but as much as I'd like to be in the real dance, the NIT would be very big for this team and program for this season. Now if you come to me in a month and we are 8-6 in the conferenc, my opinion will be different.

Its real easy to say "what if" in CBB, but boy would it be nice to have the Wofford and Miss St. games.

Anonymous said...

I think I might put the @Vandy game a little lower.

That beast of a gym is a tough place to win.

Chris S said...

Do you really think we need 10 SEC wins plus 2 tourney wins to make the NCAA tourney? That would put us at 20 wins--plenty of teams get in with 19 wins every year, and the committee tends to weight play later in the season more heavily. 9 SEC wins and 2 tourney wins would mean going 11-5 over the last 16 games, which is a pretty good track record. If some of those wins were quality wins--say, knocking off UT on the road or UK at home--that might be enough to do the trick.

That said, 11-5 is going to be pretty hard to pull off. I've got a feeling that the losses to Wofford and Miss St are going to cost us a bid.

At the end of the day, though, I'm just thrilled we're even able to discuss the possibility of tournament play at this point in the season.

Ollllddude said...

Just my 2¢, but I don't think there's any point in ranking games and predicting wins from it. I had no idea we would be within a minute of beating Kentucky at Kentucky, nor Ole Miss or MSU, and I certainly did not expect us to crush UT even at home. The truth is, this team has gotten better every single game, so I don't think it unreasonable to think they can get into any tournament. I am not willing to predict that exactly - we could not stand any serious injury to any starter, for example - but I am not ashamed to say I have been thinking about the possibility of post season play.

The Watch Dawg said...

Looks about right.

FWIW, we're shooting better in FG's, FT's and 3 pointers as a team than UF is. Just FWIW.

Anonymous said...

I'd say the SC games just moved up in the rankings...

Unknown said...

If you didn't think we could beat ole miss or msu then you haven't watched a ton of sec basketball.

The Watch Dawg said...

I still maintain that the officials screwed us out of a win at MSU.

Fratt Stinchcomb said...

I think a big game to look at will be the Feb 17 date at Kentucky and the Feb 25 date at Vandy. Vandy is always a tough place to play for anyone. I think Kentucky is very beatable at home considering we have the rest of the season to mature and progress and gave them a heck of a game up there/should have beaten them.
As concerned to an NCAA birth I dont think its out of the question. A lot of it will depend on the showing in the SEC tourney. I think this Georgia team is in a position to make a run and as we showed Tenn and SC showed Kentucky anyone can be beaten on any day.

Anonymous said...

I think RPI and SOS is what could help the dawgs. If dawgs were to go 8-8 in conf. and go 2-1 in tourney then we could be looking at Tourney bid. Pac 10 is only going to have 1 team. No strong mid majors like in the past. ACC is jumbled, Big 10 is jumbled, even big 12 jumbled. Key is going to be going 4-2 at worst at home and finding a way to win 3 games on the road. Aub/LSU should be locks. If we pull these next two out and get back to even then we have a shot.

We should win all the games left with the west division!

Also I don't think Vandy is better than TN and think that we need to catch them on bad night!

Unknown said...

The crazy fan at the GA-Tenn hoops game that was covered in Peanut Butter had an interview at The Fan's Voice Awards after being named the Fan of the Month for January:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Dustin Ware and Ricky McPhee are really good kids and they obviously try really hard, but the fact remains that they are on of the least talented starting backcourt duo's in any major conference. It would be truly miraculous if Fox leads this team to a postseason berth with those guys logging almost all of the minutes at the 1 and 2 positions.

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