The final game before the NCAA tournament brackets were unveiled was perhaps the most improbable conference tournament climax in recent memory. Coming into the SEC tournament with a sub-.500 overall record, Georgia stunned Arkansas 66-57 to win both the SEC championship and plane tickets to a March Madness game.
Now, I've never felt any kind of remorse for University of Georgia athletics. After all, they're one of the more dominant teams in the SEC. They really don't need anyone's pity.
Not even when football coach Mark Richt made the rounds back in December saying his team should have had the opportunity to play for the BCS championship, even though they didn't qualify for their conference title game. And not when former basketball coach Jim Harrick gave his teams ridiculously easy quizzes for college credit.
And not even this weekend, when nasty weather caused the SEC mens basketball tournament to change venues from the state-of-the-art 71,000-seat Georgia Dome in Atlanta to the cozy 9,200-seat Alexander Memorial Coliseum (Georgia Tech's home court). Tornadoes in the area caused damage to the Georgia Dome, halting the Alabama-Mississippi State game and delaying Georgia's quarterfinal match against Kentucky from Friday night to Saturday afternoon.
Nope, no reason to feel sorry for Georgia.
The Bulldogs pulled off an overtime upset of Kentucky, 60-56. Six hours later, the 'Dawgs had to play Mississippi State, which was unfair because this was their second game on the day, while State's last game was the previous night.
Still no pity.
Georgia somehow won that game, 64-60. (It's probably best to point out now that Georgia was the second-to-last seed in the SEC championship, going 4-12 in the conference and 13-16 overall, entering the tournament.) The next afternoon was the championship game against Arkansas, who not only didn't play two games on Saturday, their most recent game was earlier than Georgia's.
And the Rodney Dangerfield complex still hadn't kicked in.