Georgia basketball defeated Missouri Sunday afternoon to improve to 10-5 on the year and 2-1 in the SEC.
Before the season began we published a story for the best and worst case scenarios and a prediction based on them for the 2016-17 basketball season. In that article we said that the worst case scenario would be 10-21, the best case would be 22-9 and we predicted that Georgia would end the regular season 19-11.
Georgia basketball has of course already matched its win total predicted in the worst case scenario and based on how the team has played thus far they should exceed the worst case scenario easily.
And even though the season has not ended yet, they have also passed some of the final prediction. Before I predicted that Georgia would lose in the first round of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Instead Georgia defeated George Washington before losing to Kansas by 11 points.
Worst Case Scenario: 13-18 (5-13 SEC)
For this prediction to come true Georgia would probably need to lose J.J. Frazier, Yante Maten and maybe someone else to injury. Or they could just have a complete and uncharacteristic meltdown.
But it could still happen. Going 13-18 means getting swept by Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina and Alabama, losing the second game to Auburn and the game against Texas. However Georgia should still be able to beat Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, LSU, Arkansas and/or Mississippi State.
If Georgia does end the season like this Mark Fox would probably end up on the hot seat and it would certainly be a step back for a program trying to get turn yearly post season appearances into yearly NCAA Tournament appearances.
Best Case Scenario: 24-7 (15-3 SEC)
In this scenario Georgia’s bounce back win over Missouri after the loss to South Carolina turns into a 15-2 stretch to in the season and secure a high seed in the SEC Tournament and possibly the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs follow the win over Missouri with a win over Ole Miss before dropping a road game to Florida. Georgia then wins four straight including a victory over Texas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge but the streak is snapped in Rupp Arena versus Kentucky.
But the Bulldogs get their revenge over South Carolina four days later, and against Florida the following Tuesday. However, the big win comes in an upset victory at home over Kentucky.
Georgia ends the regular season with nine straight wins and the program looks poised to take the next step towards becoming one that makes trips to the NCAA Tournament more often than not.
Prediction: 20-11 (12-6 SEC)
Here’s the more realistic prediction for the rest of 2016. Much like in the best case scenario Georgia ends up splitting their games with Florida and South Carolina, but they get swept by Kentucky and also lose to Texas.
This prediction also comes with Georgia splitting games with Alabama and/or Auburn, or losing to Texas A&M. But the Bulldogs win most the games that they should win to finish with another 20-win season.
If this prediction comes true, Georgia might be making an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, but they will definitely be playing in at least the NIT. It will also show that the program is not moving backwards but they aren’t moving forward either. They’ll still be hanging around 20 wins and still playing in the post-season every year. But they will still be a team that makes more appearances in the NIT than the NCAA Tournament.