Welcome to the Bulldawg Illustrated Hoops Report: Georgia versus Auburn. It’s like Christmas when you’re eight years old. It doesn’t make sense that Santa could be real, but you’re fine looking past conventional wisdom and the naysayers because the payoff is worth it. And that’s where the Dawgs are now.
When I said two weeks ago if the Dawgs won their last four games they’d make the NCAA Tournament, it didn’t make sense to anyone. However, we’re back on the bubble and in most analysts’ First Four Out. However, it wasn’t easy Saturday night and it won’t be easy going forward. J.J. Frazier had to again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and give the Dawgs an 82-80 victory over the worst team in the SEC, the 1-15 LSU Tigers. Now we have Awburn. Just like A&M when we played them earlier, they’re much better than their record says. So I’m very concerned. But before we fret about the Tigers, let’s talk about the Tigers.
The Dawgs trailed a total of 1:24 of the second half last Saturday night. Unfortunately, it was within the final 1:25. However, with 00:01 on the clock, J.J. got fouled. With the Dawgs down one, he went to the line to hit points 28 and 29 to seal the deal and keep the Dawgs hopes alive. The Dawgs also got 12 points from Derek Ogbeide and Juwan Parker as well as nine from Turtle Jackson. The best stats of the night, however, were 20-25 from the FT line and only 10 turnovers. And even though LSU is bad, they played a very good game Saturday. They hit 85% from the FT line, 47% from the floor, and had only 10 TOs as well. And that’s against the number one team in the SEC two years in a row in opponents FG percentage. Do you know the Dawgs were number one there? Of course, you did. But I digress. In the end, somehow the Dawgs won. Got to get two more now.
Up next is Auburn and I don’t like this game. They have a good coach and a lot of talent. They’ve gone over 80 in three of their last six games; so, they can score with the best of them. However, they don’t play defense. I think we have to break 80, again. J.J. will be double and triple teamed all night long, again. We need to hit 80% from the charity stripe and keep the TOs down, again. Point is, we’re playing a team that is capable of scoring a lot of points, so we’ve got to find a way to score one more than they do.
Here we are. We go 2-0 to close the SEC year and we are firmly in the Big Dance. However, you can’t go 2-0 if you don’t win the first one. Personally, if you’d told me we be playing Auburn without Yante Maten, I’d say we have no chance. However, I’d be wrong. Not only do we have a chance, we have a hero. His name is J.J. Frazier. Is he Steph Curry? Not at all. Is he doing things like what Steph did at Davidson? Absolutely. As long as he’s on the floor, we have a chance. It’s been an amazing four-game stretch. Heck, I’m starting to believe there may be a Santa Claus. But the one I believe in is wearing red and black. Go Dawgs!