Posted: 4:36 pm Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

10 things to know about tonight’s NIT matchup between Georgia and Vermont 

By Chip Towers

Georgia guard Charles Mann is one of the best in the business at driving to the hoop. (UGA photo by John Kelley)

Georgia guard Charles Mann is one of the best in the business at driving to the hoop. (UGA photo by John Kelley)

ATHENS – Georgia takes on Vermont in a few hours in an National Invitation Tournament first-round game at Stegeman Coliseum. The game is scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU. Here’s a few things to think about as the No. 2 seeded Bulldogs go for their 20th victory against their visitors from the America East Conference.

  1. It will be the Bulldogs’ 12th appearance in the NIT and first since 2007.  Georgia’s first-ever postseason berth was in the 1981 NIT and the schools is 11-11 in the tournament. The Bulldogs advanced to the NIT Final Four in New York City in 1982 and returned in 1998 team. Both times they finished third.
  2. It’s the second meeting between Georgia and Vermont. They last played on Jan. 31, 1974, in Athens and the Bulldogs won 88-55. Tonight’s winner plays the Iona-Lousiana Tech winner but the date has not been determined. UGA would host again if it wins.
  3. Tom Brennan, a three-year letterman at UGA (1969-71), was Vermont’s head basketball coach for 19 seasons (1986-2005). He retired after his best season in 2005, when the Catamounts went 25-7, won the America East title and upset Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament. UGA honored Brennan by naming him as its basketball legend at the 2010 SEC Tournament. Brennan, a humorist who now does a radio show for on SiriusXM, is calling tonight’s game the “Tom Brennan Invitational.”
  4. Expect a lot of students at tonight’s game. Tickets were originally priced at $4 apiece for student but UGA stepped up and said it’d let the first 500 students in free. Coach Mark Fox followed up that gesture by tweeting that he would pick up the cost of tickets for the next 500 students. The the athletic association did Fox one better and declared that every student would be given free admission. That move will end up costing the Bulldogs a little cash as they’ll still have to pay the NIT $4 for every student admitted. Regular folk can get in for $15. All seats are general admission.
  5. Georgia has played very well at home this season. The Bulldogs are 14-2 at Stegeman Coliseum, and they’re still kicking themselves over the two games they lost. Georgia Tech won 80-71 on Nov. 15 and Vanderbilt beat the Bulldogs 59-54 on Jan. 29. Those teams are ranked 157 and 116, respectively, in the latest RPI rankings. With two more victories UGA likely would have been tabbed for the NCAA Tournament.
  6. Georgia is shooting for its 20th victory of the season Wednesday. It would be just the 12th such season in the program’s history and second in the past 12 years. That’s especially impressive considering the Dogs stood at 6-6 as their pre-conference slate concluded with a 73-55 loss at George Washington.
  7. Vermont is not an opponent to be toyed with. The Catamounts (22-9) fully expected to be playing in the NCAA Tournament. But they were tripped up by Albany in the semifinals of the America East Conference tournament, which was being played in Albany. They’d won 11 games in a row and 18 of 19 before that.
  8. Vermont is typical of the mid-major basketball programs that bubble up each March. The Catamounts are a senior-laden bunch that plays well together, doesn’t turn the ball over and shoots the ball well. They are led by Clancy Rugg, a 6-foot-8, 195-forward who averages 13.2 points per game and shoots 80 percent from the foul line, 55 percent from the field and 44 percent from the 3-point line. Guard Sandro Carrisimo (12.6 ppg, 79.6% FTs, 43% 3s) and 6-6 point-forward Brian Voelkel (6.7 ppg, 47% FG, 5.8 apg) are also seniors.
  9. Sophomore shooting guard Kenny Gaines is hot for the Bulldogs. He has scored in double figures 22 times and, late in the year, found his range from the 3-point arc. Over the Bulldogs’ last five regular-season games, he made 21 of 36 shots from 3-point range (52 percent).
  10. Look for Georgia point guard Charles Mann — teammates call him “Chuck” — to drive to the bucket early and often. The 6-5 sophomore Mann comes into the contest with the third most free-throw attempts (257) in a single season in UGA history. Seven fouls shots will see him overtake Alec Kessler (1990) for second. And expect Mann to be highly motivated. He hails from Queens, N.Y., and most of his extended family remains in the area. He desperately wants to play in Madison Square Garden.
23 comments
Delusionaldog
Delusionaldog

So, you cannot read the story about the dog's win in the NIT for free?


Really?

HendoDawg
HendoDawg

Where's my boy Bubba and his "one and done"? What an idiot. Congrats to Dawgs and "Mouth Fox". Bigg Bluu...KState may be the bigger and better Wildcats this year? Think so here. We'll see?

HotDawg
HotDawg

Congrats on the win tonight, Dawgs!

BIGG BLUU
BIGG BLUU

giving away tickets? No wonder Mouth Fox was complaining last week about 25,000 Kentucky fans in CATLANTA  Georgia has to give them away at home..Give up basketball..

RingtheBell
RingtheBell

hey let students in free after the way they've showed up tonight... maybe just non sec or if game is'nt sold out for SEC games

HotDawg
HotDawg

Where did all the GSU big mouths go after last night? Quick exit after past weekends big talk and talking trash to UGA (for no sane reason).

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

this is the perfect senario for us to put the rest of college basketball on notice that we are up and coming and moving up and becoming a force to be reckoned with in the ncaa.  we need to win out and that will be the perfect ending and setup for next season and football season as well.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Dawgs 76 Vermont 60! Book it!

Delusionaldog
Delusionaldog

It's good to know here on March 19th that his teammates call him "Chuck"


I would have thought that tidbit would have been reported back in November's "Know your dogs' article. 

WozzotheWonderDog
WozzotheWonderDog

"Jails from"?  You mean "hails from" unless you are talking about four members of the football team.

RingtheBell
RingtheBell

So UGA is going for there 12th 20 win season of all time. So all you haters about FOX shut up,NOBODY has ever won a lot. When you have to build something scratch it takes time and I no its been 5 years. When you don't have history to help you out, no fan support( lower ticket prices at least for non SEC games) till get buts in the seats to help with recruiting or just lower the upper level seats something.Been going to games since the Human High Lite reel was at UGA. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!

BIGG BLUU
BIGG BLUU

@Delusionaldog guess we will poochie.you basketball team hasn't done dawg poop since we took Tubby away from that rar hole..snicker

HotDawg
HotDawg

Feel better? Make you feel like a big man knocking others? BTW, did you win Sunday big guy?

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Best of luck to the Dawgs.....The SEC is the King of the NIT for sure. Then again other than UK and UF not sure how much the fans of the rest of the SEC even care about BB. Based on the comments from this article I would say not much.

MarkWiles
MarkWiles

@RingtheBell  Or how about "The Human Highlight Film"?


But hey, how cares about getting it correct.

BIGG BLUU
BIGG BLUU

@HotDawg you are in the loser tournament pooch..hows that feel snicker