It’s not the NCAA tournament. You are not filling out NIT brackets. OK, maybe a few of you did.
Still, postseason basketball will be played at Stegeman Coliseum Wednesday night when Georgia and Vermont tangle in a first-round NIT game at 8 p.m.
“There are still 30 percent, or less than 30 percent, of the teams still in significant tournaments so I think we should consider it a success,” coach Mark Fox said when asked if an NIT trip makes this season a success.
Fox said again this week that he believes Georgia (19-13) would have made the NCAA field if it beat Kentucky in the SEC tournament semifinals on Saturday.
“Whether you make it into the big tournament or you go to the NIT, I think the hardest thing to do is to play the first game,” Fox said. “Some guys are so elated that they can’t play well and other guys have a tough time to really bring the energy necessary.”
Fox said he sensed his team is still excited to be playing together this season.
“I’m just happy that we get to play some more games,” guard Kenny Gaines said, “and I get to play with these teammates some more.”
Vermont (22-10) led the America East Conference in field goal percentage (46.9 percent) and field goal percentage defense (39.3).
“They really shoot the basketball well and are terrific defensively,” Fox said. “Much like us, they’re a team. They’re spreading it around all over the place. I have really enjoyed watching them on tape. They’ve got a good team and they’ve got a good team that understands how to win.”
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