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."
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.
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