The Washington Huskies and the Georgia Bulldogs could not have taken two more different roads to the NCAA tournament. Both were bubble teams going into their conference tournaments, but had very different finishes.
Washington caught fire and eventually won in dramatic fashion against Arizona to win the Pac-10 crown, while Georgia lost in the second round against Alabama in a disappointing defeat. At the time, most Bulldog fans thought all hope was lost for the NCAA tournament.
Now, Washington and Georgia are ready to meet for their exciting 7-10 matchup.
This is how the teams compare to one another.
Washington's Isaiah Thomas is one of the best point guards in college basketball. He is averaging 16.8 points per game and six assists. He is currently one of the hottest players in the nation and his last shot he took was a buzzer-beater that won the Pac-10 tournament.
Gerald Robinson, on the other hand, has been ice cold.
Early in the season he was one of the Bulldogs' strongest scorers, but lately, he has not been great. He is averaging 12.2 points and 4.2 assists per game.
This matchup seems to be lopsided. Expect Thomas to beat Robinson with his size and score a lot of points.
In this matchup, freshman Terrence Ross is going up against the crafty junior scorer, Travis Leslie.
Leslie is a the Bulldogs' second-leading scorer and rebounder with 14.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He is Georgia’s hottest player—last game, he scored 24 on Alabama in a losing effort.
Washington’s Ross is simply a role player for the Huskies. His main job on the team is to sit around the perimeter and spot up three-point shots. Ross is currently averaging 7.9 points per game and shoots 35 percent from beyond the arc.
Leslie is very efficient and extremely productive. He should have a big night against Ross and dominate this battle.
This is one of the tighter battles to watch in this game. Wilcox and Ware are both role players for their teams who have been inconsistent scorers.
Dustin Ware is a junior combo guard that averages 8.1 points and 3.5 assists per game. He is valuable because he has the ability to run the point for Georgia when Gerald Robinson is out.
C.J. Wilcox, a freshman, has had a strong second half of the season, but doesn’t give much to his team other than some outside shooting. He is averaging 8.1 points per game and shoots 40 percent from deep for the Huskies.
I like Ware in this matchup because he brings more to his team and has more experience.
When it comes to size, this matchup makes no sense at all. Justin Holiday is an athletic forward at 6’6”, 185 pounds, while Jeremy Price is a 6’8”, 270-pound tank.
Obviously these two are not going to guard each other, but for the sake of this list, we will compare their overall contribution to their team.
Justin Holiday, the Huskies' forward, looks like a shooting guard trying to play forward. However, he is surprisingly tough inside. His best asset is his athleticism. He is averaging 10.8 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game.
The Bulldogs' Jeremy Price does not rely on his athleticism. He uses power and brute strength to make his presence on the court felt. He averages 9.2 points and five rebounds per game.
Despite his size, Holiday is actually the better rebounder out of the two. I think this is the game’s key matchup. Holiday is a mismatch for the Bulldogs. They will have to go small to hang with this team.
This is the matchup that is getting the most attention in this game: Washington’s Bryan-Amaning’s athleticism vs. Georgia’s Try Thompkins' fundamental and smooth low-post play.
Bryan-Amaning is currently averaging 15.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, while Thompkins is averaging 16.1 and 7.5 rebounds per game. Their stats are too similar to notice a big difference.
They key to note in this matchup is that Bryan-Amaning is very similar to Alabama forward JaMychal Green. Green has owned the Bulldogs this season and led his Crimson Tide to two victories over Georgia.
I see the Bulldogs getting beat by an athletic forward yet again.
Washington is too quick and athletic for Georgia. They should beat the Bulldogs up down the court and get a lot of high-percentage shots.
The Huskies are also the hot team. They have won seven of their last 10 games, including the last three, while Georgia is only 5-5 in their last 10 games, including a devastating loss last game to the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Score Prediction: Washington 79, Georgia 64.