Georgia Basketball and NCAA Tournament: Passing acquaintances or start of a beautiful friendship?


Georgia basketball has played in the NCAA Basketball Tournament 11 times. When the Bulldog Nation hears “Road to The Final Four,” the first impulse is Google Maps.

More from Georgia Basketball

Georgia’s first NCAA appearance was the Final Four team of 1983. Led by James Banks, Terry Fair and future Olympian and NBA veteran Vern Fleming, Georgia exploded through the SEC Tournament. Two time Final Four coach Hugh Durham eventually steered his squad past St. John’s and a North Carolina squad that included a young Michael Jordan.

The Dawgs lost in the national semi-final bout with Jim Valvano’s miracle North Carolina State team for the Dawgs deepest NCAA run ever.

Georgia has appeared in the Tournament four times since the turn of the century, winning only one game. Coach Mark Fox led Georgia to its most recent appearance in 2011, when the Dawgs lost to Washington in Charlotte.

In 2008, it took one of college greatest basketball’s greatest stories –and a tornado – for the hapless Bulldogs to emerge from the SEC basketball cellar to win the SEC Basketball Tournament – winning three games in two days with enough last-minute drama to fill a season. But that story, one of the greatest in college athletic history, became an NCAA Tourney footnote when the Dawgs exited after losing to Xavier in round one.

In fact, since the 1983 appearance, the Dawgs lost in the opening round in seven of ten NCAA appearances.

The final tally is eighteen NCAA Tournament games in Georgia basketball history, twelve NCAA appearances counting this year, only two visits to the Sweet Sixteen and one to the Final Four.

It’s time for Georgia to have more than a handshake acquaintance with the NCAA Tournament. Can Mark Fox take this program to the next level, to build a beautiful friendship with the Big Dance? We won’t’ find out today, but it’s time to make this Tournament a Bulldog BFF.

Next: Charles Barkley Picks the Dawgs over Sparty