Tournament time brings local fans together
By Greg Sullivan
"They did a good job to even get there," said one Georgia basketball fan looking up from his Athens Banner-Herald newspaper while he sat at one of the high chairs in the middle of the Madison ChopHouse Grille Thursday afternoon.
"Yeah, they did," said a different hoops fan overhearing the conversation on his way out the restaurant, having just finished his lunch.
I can only imagine this must be the universal sentiment after Georgia, who was less than a week before laying fast asleep in the SEC's basement with Doritos crumbs on their smelly sweatshirts, traveled up to Washington, D.C. with more charm than the slickest of politicians and with the glint of the SEC tournament championship trophy still glowing in their eyes after a string of four straight weekend upsets landed them in a first round NCAA matchup with a daunting Xavier Musketeers squad.
The unusual Bulldog run also got a fair share of Georgians, who have had little reason to watch basketball in recent years, back into the game.
As sweet as the dream was, though, it was over fairly quickly, as the Bulldogs blew a nine-point half-time lead to fall to a good Musketeers 73-61. But it was a good ride while it lasted. And it may be a sign of better things to come.
Meanwhile, March Madness rolls on and there are still many more games to be played.
People are picking various teams to win it all this year, but at this point it's still hard for me to say who the best team is. I've heard people say the champion will be anyone from UNC, to UCLA, to Tennessee, to Kansas.
My hunch going into the tournament was UNC, but that may end up being way off. Time will tell.
Georgia, meanwhile, will have a chance next year to prove that their success in the SEC tournament wasn't a fluke. That may not be a very easy thing to prove since they share the SEC East with Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Florida.
The Bulldogs players coming back, with new-found confidence in their head coach, should be looking to put a good season together.
The amazing thing about this year's team is how quickly a team's fortunes can change, We'll see if they can keep things going.
The SEC tournament served as a remainder to everyone to have faith in their team and to never quit when you’re out on the floor.
As for Dennis Felton, also, he’s still got a job.