What was supposed to have been somewhat of a stress free game now has been turned into a "do or die" moment for Kentucky due to the loss they suffered Saturday to Arkansas. Headed into the match up with the Hogs, Kentucky was solidly in the tournament, now with a loss they are back on the "first four out" list and a loss to Georgia would put them in a tough situation where beating Florida and possibly having to win the SEC Tournament just to make the grade. The bad part, a win at Georgia doesn't do much to boost the Cats' resume for the dance either, but it's definitely a loss that would leave only the slightest bit of hope that you could ask for.
Coming in, Georgia doesn't have anything to lose in this one as they will no doubt be out of the tournament with a 14-15 (8-8) record, so the pressure is squarely on the shoulders of Kentucky who with a record of 20-9 (11-5) would probably make it in by the skin of their teeth as of today. So these guys will have to come ready to play and show the committee what they can do when faced with adversity.
For those who aren't familiar with the Georgia Bulldogs, here's a little history on their program....
LOCATION: Athens, Georgia
Nickname: Georgia Bulldogs
Mascot: Uga (Live), Hairy Dawg (Costumed)
Jason Aldean (country music artist)
Kim Basinger ( actress)
Bill Goldberg (WWE/WCW, NFL)
Josh Holloway (actor- TV show Lost)
R.E.M ( alternative rock group)
Ryan Seacrest (American Idol host)
The B-52's (Music artists)
Over the history of this series that dates back to 1921, Kentucky has a lead of 115-25 and wining the last three. The last loss suffered against the Bulldogs came on 1-8-2011 by a score of 77-70 played in, you guessed it, Athens, GA.
Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, let's look and see what Kentucky will have to do to pull off the win down in Athens.....
PPG: 60 75
RPG: 35 38
APG: 12 14
SPG: 6 6
BPG: 4 7
TPG: 15 13
FG%: 41 48
FT%: 68 64
3PT%: 35 36
The Bulldogs' leading scorer and heart and soul of their team is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who averages 18ppg hits free throws at a 80% clip and shoots it 37% from three. He is the one to keep an eye on as he could be devastating to the Cats if left unguarded.
Long story short, Kentucky needs this win and needs it bad, there's no easy way to put it. Win and they have a fighters chance of making the tournament, lose and it's NIT bound barring a run to the SEC Tournament Title. I'm not saying the Cats can't pull this off, because they can, they just have to want it bad enough.