Name: University of Georgia
Location: Athens, Georgia
I don’t actually know where that is. It’s about 75 minutes east of Atlanta.
Began Classes: 1801, those slackers.
Enrollment: 35,197, with 26,882 undergraduates.
Why “Bulldogs?” Honestly, it appears that even Georgia isn’t totally sure about it. From their website:
Many old-timers say Georgia acquired the nickname, Bulldogs, because of the strong ties with Yale whose nickname is Bulldogs. Georgia's first president, Abraham Baldwin, was a Yale man and the early buildings on campus were designed from blueprints of the same building at Yale. But on Nov. 3, 1920, Morgan Blake of the ATLANTA JOURNAL wrote about school nicknames and said "The Georgia Bulldogs" would sound good because there is a certain dignity about a bulldog, as well as ferocity." After a 0-0 tie with Virginia in Charlottesville on Nov. 6, 1920, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION writer Cliff Wheatley used the name "Bulldogs" in his story five times. The name has been used ever since.
What’s the deal with Uga, anyway? Uga is the name of the live English bulldog mascot of the University of Georgia. U-GA. Get it? Anyway, Uga I and his successors are all owned not by the university, but by the Frank W. “Sonny” Seiler family. Uga I made his debut in 1956, and the current mascot is Uga X, familiarly known as Que. You can visit Georgia’s official Uga history page to learn more about the mascots through the years.
But they’ve got a costume mascot, too? Yep, the wildly inferior “human in a suit” mascot is named Hairy Dawg. He made his first appearance at the 1981 Sugar Bowl and has been an official part of game days since then. Hairy Dawg is probably most famous for former Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford thinking he peed on the floor in the ESPN offices.
Notable Alumni: actor Kyle Chandler aka Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights; musician Danger Mouse, professional wrestler Disco Inferno; actor Josh Holloway; actor Wayne Knight; all four members of R.E.M.; Ryan Seacrest; Super Bowl MVP Terrell Davis; UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin; Heisman Trophy Winner and undefeated MMA fighter Herschel Walker; Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward; 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson; Maxine Clark, founder of Build A Bear; Billy Payne, 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics CEO and current Augusta National Golf Club chairman; Saxby Chambliss; U.S. Senator and noted great name guy; Nathaniel E. Harris, former governor of Georgia and founder of Georgia Tech (now that’s how you build some rivalry smack talk); Guy G. Hurlbutt, former U.S. Attorney for Idaho; baseball announcer Chip Caray; Turner Sports broadcaster Ernie Johnson; Crawford Long, surgeon best known for first using inhaled diethyl ether as an anesthetic; Michael D. Steele; retired United States Army colonel and decorated veteran of the Battle of Mogadishu; and professional wrestler and former NFL player Bill Goldberg.
Last Season: 20-14, with a 10-8 record in the SEC. They lost in the conference tournament semifinals to Kentucky, but advanced to the second round of the NIT before losing to Saint Mary’s.
This Season: 5-2, but that includes an 86-72 victory over non-Division 1 team Morehouse in their most recent game. Their losses are to Clemson and Kansas, both of which are top 50 KenPom teams right now.
Final 2015-16 KenPom Ranking: #71
Current KenPom Ranking: #61
Points: Yante Maten, 20.4 ppg
Rebounds: Yante Maten, 8.6 rpg
Assists: J.J. Frazier, 4.0 apg
Big Man? Maten stands 6’8” and weighs 240 lb., and he definitely plays like it. Well, mostly. Yes, he’s leading the team in points and rebounds, and yes, he’s top 300 in the country in both rebounding rate categories, and yes, he’s top 180 in block rate, too. He’s also attempting two three-point shots per game against Division 1 opponents, and he’s shooting 42% on those shots.
Also, maybe it’s a little early to take these kinds of things seriously, but Maten is 10th in the country in the KenPom.com Player of the Year rankings.
They’ve got a couple of other big guys, too: Derek Ogbeide (6’8”, 245 lb.) plays 17 minutes a night and Mike Edwards (6’9”, 225 lb.) sees the court for nearly 21 minutes per game on average. Between the two of them, they average 11.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.
Head Coach: Mark Fox, in his 13th season overall and eighth year at Georgia. He has a 254-148 record overall, and 131-105 for the Bulldogs.
All Time Series: There’s just one previous meeting between the two squads, waaaaay back in December of 1974. Marquette got the 100-70 victory in Milwaukee.