Mark Fox's Bulldogs will step out of conference tonight when they host Xavier. Tonight's game was scheduled due to Georgia's bye week in SEC play. The Musketeers are 16-6 overall and 8-1 in the Atlantic 10 which ties them for the conference lead. That places a lot of NCAA Tournament implications on tonight's game as Georgia has yet another chance to capture a signature win to add to their tournament resume. Having lost heartbreaking games to both Tennessee and Florida, the Bulldogs can ill-afford another loss at home.
Georgia's backcourt of Dustin Ware and Gerald Robinson Jr. will face a challenge tonight in containing Xavier junior guard Tu Holloway who is averaging 20.8 points and five assists per game. In addition to Holloway the Musketeers have three other players that average double figures points in guard Mark Lyons, forward Jamel McLean, and seven-foot center Kenny Frease.
Establishing Trey Thompkins will be a priority in tonight's game as he is likely to find himself matched up against McLean or at times Frease. Georgia will need a strong inside/outside game from the preseason SEC Player of the Year if they hope to pull out a victory.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. That was the season where Georgia shocked everyone by winning the SEC Tournament after a tornado struck the Georgia Dome and forced the Bulldogs to have to win two games in one day. The two teams have split their two prior meetings with Georgia defeating Xavier in Athens in 1983 while losing the tournament game in 2008.
Chris Mack is in his second season on the bench at Xavier and has amassed a 42-15 record thus far. Likewise Mark Fox is also in his second season at the helm for the Bulldogs and has a 30-23 record. Lifetime coach Fox has a 153-66 career record amassing seven seasons.
For more on this game check out Dawg Sports.