Georgia to face Michigan State in East Regional

Georgia to face Michigan State in East Regional

March 16th, 2015 by David Paschall in Sports - College

Georgia guard J.J. Frazier (30) celebrates his three-point shot against South Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinal round of the Southeastern Conference tournament Saturday, March 14, 2015, in Nashville. Georgia won 74-62.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

The Georgia Bulldogs have never won an NCAA men's basketball tournament game in Charlotte, and they've never advanced as a double-digit seed.

They will have to rewrite history if this year's March Madness stay is a long one.

Mark Fox's Bulldogs were selected Sunday into the NCAA field as a 10th seed in the East Regional, where they will open play Friday against seventh-seeded Michigan State. Tom Izzo's Spartans lost the Big Ten tournament championship game Sunday to Wisconsin 80-69 in overtime and are 23-11 this season.

The Bulldogs dropped to 21-11 Saturday with a 60-49 loss to Arkansas in the Southeastern Conference tourney semifinals.

"I really am proud of our team for earning an invitation to the NCAA tournament," Fox said Sunday night in a news conference. "This group made a commitment a long time ago to a way of functioning and a way or working."

Document: Men's NCAA Division I bracket

Download the bracket for the 2015 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship.

Source: The Associated Press

Georgia junior guard Kenny Gaines sat out the SEC tournament with a foot injury but told reporters Sunday night that there was a "7,000-percent chance" of him playing Friday. Georgia and Michigan State are scheduled to tip at 12:40 p.m. on truTV.

The Spartans are making their 18th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, tying a Big Ten record that Indiana set from 1986 to 2003. Izzo has taken them to the Final Four on six occasions, winning the 2000 national championship with a victory over Florida.

"Michigan State is a terrific basketball program with a wonderful coach who I have great respect for," Fox said.

Georgia also was a 10 seed and went to Charlotte in 2011, when Fox was in his second season in Athens. The Bulldogs faced seventh-seeded Washington and were bounced 68-65.

The Bulldogs were a 14 seed in 2008, when they lost to Xavier, and they were an 11 seed in 1991, when they fell to sixth-seeded Pittsburgh.

Charlotte was also the sight of Georgia's most stunning NCAA tournament exit. Tubby Smith's Bulldogs were a 3 seed in 1997 but got upset 73-70 by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.