In battle of Bulldogs, lean Georgia

In battle of Bulldogs, lean Georgia

Two squads moving in positive directions collide this evening in the Music City, which will see whether No. 7 seed Georgia can outmaneuver Mississippi State in second-round action of the SEC tournament starting at 9:25 p.m. ET.

Online sports book BetDSI currently likes UGA’s Bulldogs as 1.5-point favorites over those hailing from Starkville. Georgia certainly carries confidence into the fray, having knocked off Ole Miss, South Carolina and Alabama in succession.

UGA gaining traction with public

Ben Howland's troops boast comparable momentum. With two wins in their last three contests, the Bulldogs personify substantial improvement after a brutal beginning to the conference season. Emerging freshman guard Quinndary Weatherspoon joins forward Gavin Ware (15.8 points per game) and veteran Craig Sword in forming a well-rounded attack that gave 24-7 Texas A&M fits as recently as Feb. 24.

MSU also totes a 4-1 record against the spread when squaring off with a .500-plus foe. So, why does this feel akin to an Athens party regardless?

For starters, the J.J. Frazier-Yante Maten duo should ravage Mississippi State’s interior defense. Then the supporting cast arrives. Georgia consistently benefits from glue guys like Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann, who produce timely buckets and deny the opposition floor position in equal measure.

There’s extra motivation for UGA, too, with the Gamecocks looming in tomorrow’s quarterfinals. Mark Fox assuredly wants to deal Frank Martin’s troops a third straight loss and bolster his own players’ NCAA tourney hopes.

Tonight, however, demands attention first. The Bulldogs in red and white won’t be caught looking ahead.

THURSDAY NCAA FREE PICK: GEORGIA -1.5

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