Georgia nailed down the No. 3 seed in the Southeastern Conference tournament on Saturday night and will head home from Baton Rouge, La. having finished the regular season in a tie for second-place with Kentucky.
That‚Äôs pretty heady stuff for a Bulldogs team picked to finish 11th in the media preseason poll and was 6-6 entering league play.
Georgia‚Äôs 69-61 win at LSU put the Bulldogs in the last quarterfinal game on Friday at about 9:30 p.m in the Georgia Dome. The Bulldogs earned a double-bye and will play either Ole Miss, Vanderbilt or Mississippi State.
‚ÄúI think what‚Äôs important for us is that we play Friday,‚Äù coach Mark Fox said on the Bulldogs‚Äô postgame radio show, ‚Äùand that we get ready to play that game no matter who it‚Äôs going to be and when it‚Äôs going to be, that we stay focused that one particular game.‚Äù
The Bulldogs (18-12, 12-6 SEC) finished with their most SEC wins since going 13-5 in 1990.
‚ÄúThese kids have worked hard so I‚Äôm very proud of them,‚Äù Fox said.
Georgia already had the luxury of a double-bye in the SEC tournament after Alabama routed over Arkansas earlier Saturday.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs very important,‚Äù guard Kenny Gaines said this week. ‚ÄúYou get to skip the first two days and have that time to mentally rest and physically rest .‚Äù
Georgia needed a win over LSU to get the No. 3 seed instead of No. 4.
The top four seeds get byes through the first two rounds and don‚Äôt play their first games until Friday.
The Bulldogs haven‚Äôt had a bye until Friday in the SEC tournament since 2002.
That was also the last year the Bulldogs won at LSU. They had lost five straight games there before Saturday.
Georgia will enter the SEC tournament having won eight of their last 10.
Wednesday‚Äôs first round
No. 12 Auburn vs. No. 13 South Carolina, 7 p.m.
No. 11 Vanderbilt vs. No. 14 Mississippi State, 9:30 p.m. (approximate).
Thursday‚Äôs second round
No. 8 Missouri vs. No. 9 Texas A&M, 1 p.m.
Auburn-South Carolina winner vs. No. 5 Arkansas, 3:30 p.m. (approximate).
No. 7 LSU vs. No. 10 Alabama, 7 p.m.
Vanderbilt-Mississippi State winner vs. No. 6 Ole Miss, 9:30 p.m. (approximate)
Missouri-Texas A&M winner vs. No. 1 Florida, 1 p.m.
Auburn-South Carolina-Arkansas winner vs. No. 4 Tennessee, 3:30 p.m. (approximate).
LSU-Alabama winner vs. No. 2 Kentucky, 7 p.m.
Vanderbilt-Mississippi State-Ole Miss winner vs. No. 3 Georgia, 9:30 p.m. (approximate).
Missouri-Texas A&M-Florida winner vs. Auburn-South Carolina-Arkansas-Tennessee winner, 1 p.m.
LSU-Alabama-Kentucky winner vs. Vanderbilt-Mississippi State-Ole Miss-Georgia winner , 3:30 p.m.