WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As I said an hour ago, that's not your typical No. 14 seed. Georgia, riding the momentum of its SEC Tournament championship, raced to a 35-26 halftime lead over Xavier in the first round of the NCAAs here at the Verizon Center.
Xavier certainly doesn't look like a third seed, either. Georgia extended its defense and gave the Musketeers fits on the perimeter. Drew Lavender, Xavier's 5-7 senior point guard, had an especially bad first half, shooting 2 of 7 and seeming out of rhythm against the Bulldog's stifling defense.
Xavier is capable of coming back in the second half. They beat a lot of good teams this year in non-conference games. But Georgia is loose and inspired and has three terrific veteran guards in Sundiata Gaines, Terrance Woodbury (10 points in the first half) and Billy Humphrey.
And to think, there was talk that Georgia head coach Dennis Felton might be fired before the Dawgs made their SEC tourney run. Oh, that older fellow sitting next to Felton on Georgia's bench? It's associate head coach Pete Herrmann, the 1966 Bishop Timon graduate who is in his 26th season as a Division I coach.
It's not looking good early for the A-10. Temple is down at halftime to Michigan State, 35-26 -- the identical halftime score as Xavier-Georgia.