Home matchups against five of the six other Southeastern Conference basketball teams that advanced to postseason play last season headline the Georgia Bulldogs’ 2016-17 conference schedule, which was announced Tuesday by the league office.
Georgia, which in 2015-16 advanced in the NIT and posted a third straight 20-win finish, will host Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina and Vanderbilt at Stegeman Coliseum this winter.
“With unbalanced scheduling, you never know what you are going to get,” head coach Mark Fox said. “The SEC is a challenging league – no matter how you slice it up. And again we have to accept the challenge of competing in this league. Obviously’ with such good teams coming to Athens, it will be critical that we protect our home court. The road half of the schedule also looks to be loaded with challenges too. In the SEC, you don’t get an easy road – and I hope that excites everybody.”
The Bulldogs traditionally face Auburn, Florida and South Carolina twice each season as geographic rivals. Georgia also will take on Kentucky and Alabama two times to round out the 18-game SEC slate.
Georgia begins SEC play on Thursday, Dec. 29, at Auburn and will then host South Carolina and Missouri in back-to-back dates at Stegeman. The nine-game home schedule also features Vanderbilt on Tuesday, Jan. 17; Alabama on Wednesday, Jan. 25; Florida on Tuesday, Feb. 7; Mississippi State on Tuesday, Feb. 14; Kentucky on Saturday, Feb. 18; LSU on Saturday, Feb. 25; and Auburn on Wednesday, March 1.
The Bulldogs will travel to Texas A&M, the only SEC postseason team from 2016 not to visit Athens, on Saturday, Jan. 21. That contest is part of a challenging stretch of eight consecutive games against teams that reached postseason play last March. The span begins and ends with dates against Florida – in Gainesville on Saturday, Jan. 14 and in Athens on Tuesday, Feb. 7. In between, Georgia will face Vanderbilt, travel to A&M, host back-to-back outings against Alabama and Texas (as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge) and travel to both Kentucky and South Carolina.
Below is Georgia’s SEC Schedule:
Thursday, Dec. 29, at Auburn (ESPNU) at 7:00
Wednesday, Jan. 4, South Carolina (ESPNU) at 7:00
Saturday, Jan. 7 , Missouri (SEC Network) at 1:00
Wednesday, Jan. 11, at Ole Miss (ESPNU) at 7:00
Saturday, Jan. 14 , at Florida (ESPN/2) at Noon
Tuesday, Jan. 17, Vanderbilt (ESPNU) at 9:00
Saturday, Jan. 21, at Texas A&M (ESPN/2) at Noon
Wednesday, Jan. 25, Alabama (ESPNU) at 9:00
Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Kentucky (ESPN) at 9:00
Saturday, Feb. 4, at South Carolina (ESPN/2) at 2:00
Tuesday, Feb. 7, Florida (ESPN2) at 7:00
Saturday, Feb. 11, at Tennessee (ESPNU) at 4:00
Tuesday, Feb. 14, Mississippi State (ESPNU) at 9:00
Saturday, Feb. 18, Kentucky (ESPN/2) at 4:00 or 8:00
Thursday, Feb. 23, at Alabama (ESPN/2) at7:00
Saturday, Feb. 25, LSU (SEC Network) at 6:00
Wednesday, March 1, Auburn (SEC Network) at 6:30
Saturday, March 4, at Arkansas (ESPN/2) at 4:00
Every SEC game can be seen from anywhere in the nation. The SEC Network will televise 68 games, ESPN or ESPN2 will televise 32 contests, ESPNU 20 and CBS Sports six. The games included in the ESPN package (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and SEC Network) will also be available through WatchESPN, which is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider. Each of the CBS Sports games will be available to stream live in more than 150 U.S. markets via the CBS All Access subscription service, with additional coverage on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app.
The SEC Network will televise the first three days of the SEC Basketball Tournament (March 8-12) from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The semifinals and championship game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Georgia Basketball is in the midst of one of its winningest periods in the program’s history. The Bulldogs have won 20-plus games in each of the past three years, the second time in 111 seasons that UGA has done so. In addition, Georgia is one of only two SEC programs (along with Kentucky) to post double-digit SEC win tallies each of the past three seasons. Georgia and Kentucky also are the only two SEC teams to reach the semifinals of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 SEC Tournaments, with no other league school doing so more than once during that span.
The Bulldogs return eight of their top-10 scorers from last year’s team that finished 20-14 and advanced to postseason play for the third straight year. All-SEC performers J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten, who averaged 16.9 ppg and 16.5 ppg last season, respectively, headline Georgia’s returnees. They are the first- and third-leading returning scorers in the SEC this season and the fifth-best inside-outside scoring combination returning to Division I basketball this season.
Season tickets for Georgia Basketball are on sale now. The 17-game package is $255 for fans and $127.50 for faculty/staff. Fans can order season tickets online here or by calling the UGA ticket office at on Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. BEF contributors and faculty/staff season tickets holders also will be able to order tickets to the 2017 SEC Tournament, which will be March 8-12 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
Fans can support the men’s basketball program through a gift to BEF by calling The Georgia Bulldog Club at 1-877-GA-DAWGS (423-2947) or by visiting here for more information.