Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

SEC championship

Georgia completes marathon run to SEC crown

ATLANTA — Cinderella has an invitation to the Big Dance and will be wearing Red and Black.

No. 6 seed Georgia upset Arkansas 66-57 Sunday afternoon to win the SEC tournament at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on the Georgia Tech campus. It was the first SEC Tournament title for the Bulldogs since 1983 — the year they went to the Final Four.

Georgia (17-16) earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, is seeded No. 14, and plays No. 3 Xavier on Thursday in Washington, D.C., in the West Region.

"What happened this weekend was history," Georgia athletic director Damon Evans said. "You may never see this again."

Georgia is only the third team in the tournament's history to win the title by winning four games, joining Arkansas (2000) and Auburn (1985). The Bulldogs are the first sixth seed to win the tournament since the league expanded to 12 teams in 1992. They did so by defeating top-seeded Tennessee, No. 2 East seed Kentucky and No. 1 West seed Mississippi State. And they did so in dramatic fashion. The team that won just four SEC games in the regular season won four games in three days. Those wins included two Saturday after Georgia was forced to play a quarterfinal and a semi­final when the schedule was disrupted because of damage to the Georgia Dome by a tornado Friday night.

"It's amazing just to have a championship," said Georgia senior Sundiata Gaines, who was the tournament MVP. "Coming in, everybody doubted us. To win two games in one day, then today we win and have a chance to go dancing, I can hardly believe it."

Trailing 51-36, Arkansas (22-11) went on a 17-5 run to pull within 56-53, but it was as close as it would get.

"We just could not play well enough against them to challenge for a victory," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said.

Antonya English can be reached at

Georgia 66

Arkansas 57

Georgia completes marathon run to SEC crown 03/16/08 [Last modified: Sunday, March 16, 2008 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  2. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Lightning confused by NHL's slashing crackdown

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — D Victor Hedman said the joke in the Lightning locker room before Friday's exhibition game was that the over/under on slashing penalties would be six.

    "It was the over again," Hedman quipped.

    Wing Ryan Callahan, left,  pursues the Predators’ Colton Sissons, being careful how he uses his stick given the crackdown on slashing in the preseason. “It’s hard to defend when you’re so used to doing something for so long and now it’s a penalty,” Callahan says.
  5. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.