Friday, March 11, 2011

VIDEO: Timeout may cost Georgia a tournament bid

Georgia has blown an 11 point lead with four minutes left in the game.

When Trevor Releford scored on a layup with four second left on the clock, it capped a 15-4 run, tying the game at 53 and giving Alabama's NCAA Tournament hopes new life, albeit it briefly. Dustin Ware took the inbounds and sprinted the length of the court, throwing up a 25 foot runner that banked in.


Unfortunately, that was not the case:

Mark Fox, the Georgia head coach, inexplicably called a timeout with 0.8 seconds left on the clock, mere tenths of a second before Ware shot what would have been the game winner.

In the overtime, Tony Mitchell hit a tiebreaking three with just over a minute left, and Alabama held Georgia scoreless the rest of the way, winning 65-59. With this game billed as a play-out game, it puts Fox in an incredibly awkward spot -- his ill-advised timeout may end up costing Georgia an NCAA Tournament bid.

The Bulldogs still have a chance to dance, obviously. But they have just five top 100 wins (including Ole Miss) and finished the year just 9-7 in the SEC and 21-11 overall. Georgia's profile is thoroughly mediocre, which means that they will be stuck playing the dreaded "wait and see" game.

"If I don't call a timeout and that ball goes in, you're not asking that question. That's how close it is," Fox said after the game.

Alabama is close, but they certainly should not feel comfortable enough to consider themselves a lock. Not when you lost to the teams they lost to in the non-conference portion of your schedule. Not when your RPI is in the 80's. I'd advise Anthony Grant's team to beat the winner of Kentucky and Ole Miss tomorrow afternoon.

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