Georgia vs. Mississippi State Preview: Prelude to a Snowy Evening of Roundballing Bulldogs

It's cold and gross outside. So instead of working, revel in your southern city's lack of winter-weather infrastructure and get prepared to spend your evening indoors with the maroon and white and red and black bulldogs.

So, what’s the deal?

Georgia, at the Hump, Wednesday at 8:00 P.M. (CST)

Is it on TV?

Yup. It’s on FSN. So when the game’s over, you can stick around for another twelve-hour block of three-year-old poker tournaments.

If FSN’s not your bag, it’s also supposed to be on ESPN3.

Are they any good?

By SEC standards, sort of. At 6-4, UGA is tied with LSU for fourth place in the conference. They had a great road win to start the season at Missouri, and have wins over LSU and Alabama among others.

Of course, they’ve got some bad losses to go along with those wins—less-than-stellar Georgia Tech, Auburn, and Temple teams, whose average RPI rank is 161, all beat Georgia.

If you take a closer look at what makes a team like this tick, the most remarkable thing you’ll notice is just how unremarkable the numbers are. In nearly every statistical category other than those related to rebounding, UGA ranks in the lower half of the conference. Last in assist-to-turnover ratio, last in assists, tenth in steals, twelfth in three-point-percentage defense, tenth in scoring margin, eleventh in field-goal-percentage offense, and so on. The rebounding picture is a little better—most of those ranks are fifth or sixth in the league—but not overly impressive.

In other words, I don’t really know how they’re winning conference games. But they are.

What are State’s chances?

Given that we’ve lost five in a row, it’s hard to be overly optimistic. We played both Kentucky and Florida tight for twenty-five minutes or so, and the game at Vandy was within reach much of the evening. But, man, those A&M and UM losses were pretty brutal.

That said, the team’s level of effort has been commendable throughout most of the season. And though effort alone can’t make up for terrible shooting, lack of size, or one of the worst free throw percentages in all of college basketball, it can help keep things close against teams whose talent or depth is at least in our ballpark.

So I think the MSU has a decent shot at win here. Other than on the boards, this doesn’t appear to be much of a mismatch. Plus, I like the way we've been playing at home, the second halves against UK and UF notwithstanding.

Libations?

To appease the basketball gods, you should go with one of Athens-based Terrapin Beer Company’s winter offerings, such as Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal StoutMosaic Red Rye India Pale Ale, or Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout. You know, because it’s always wise to ingest your enemy before battle.

To appease the whisky gods—who are the ones running the show otherwise—I recommend something that will keep you warm while the temporary tundra thaws slowly outside, like Knob Creek Rye. If you’re not a regular rye drinker, have no fear. This is a great one to start out with. Yeah, it’s got the "spice" you hear about with ryes, but it’s still very much in the vein of Knob Creek’s solid bourbon releases. And at 100 proof, it’ll more than do the trick on a cold night.

This one will do just fine by itself or on the rocks, but is also well suited for the old-man cocktail of your choice.

You’re now ready to watch basketball.

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