Georgia Bulldogs basketball

The Georgia Bulldogs basketball program is the men's college basketball team representing the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Established in 1891, the team has competed in the Southeastern Conference since its inception in 1932. As of 2020 the Bulldogs have amassed a record of 1,434–1,319. Though it has been historically overshadowed by the school's football program, the Bulldogs' basketball squad has had its share of successes, including a trip to the NCAA Final Four in 1983 under head coach Hugh Durham. The school has also produced a number of basketball greats, notably Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins.

Georgia Bulldogs
2020–21 Georgia Bulldogs basketball team
Georgia Athletics logo.svg
UniversityUniversity of Georgia
Head coachTom Crean (3rd season)
LocationAthens, Georgia
ArenaStegeman Coliseum
(Capacity: 10,523)
ColorsRed and Black[1]
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Home jersey
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Team colours
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Away jersey
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Team colours
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Alternate jersey
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Team colours
NCAA Tournament Final Four
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1983, 1996
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1983, 1985, 1996, 2002
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1983, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2011, 2015
NIT Final Four
1982, 1998
NIT Quarterfinals
1982, 1998
NIT Second Round
1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1998, 2007, 2014, 2016
NIT Tournament Appearances
1981, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2014, 2016, 2017
Conference Tournament Champions
1917, 1932, 1983, 2008
Conference Regular Season Champions
1931, 1990


Conference affiliationsEdit

Stegeman Coliseum

Georgia was a founding member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA), the first collegiate athletic conference formed in the United States. Georgia participated in the SIAA from its establishment in 1895 until 1921. In 1921, the Bulldogs, along with 12 other teams, left the SIAA and formed the Southern Conference.[2] In 1932, the Georgia Bulldogs left the Southern Conference to form and join the Southeastern Conference (SEC).


Coach Rex Enright led Georgia to great success in the old Southern Conference during the 1931 and 1932 seasons. His 1931 team finished with a 23–2 (15–1) record. The Bulldogs were upset in the Southern Conference tournament semi-finals by Maryland, 26–25.

The 1932 team didn't have the dominating record that the 1931 team did, finishing 19–7 (7–4). But this team did something that the previous year's team could not do in winning the Southern Conference tournament defeating Mississippi State, Virginia, Duke, and North Carolina.


Coach Hugh Durham brought Georgia to its first ever post season appearance in 1981. That team finished with a 19–12 (9–9) record. They earned an NIT bid and the enthusiasm surrounding the program earned them home games in first defeating Old Dominion and then in a loss to South Alabama.

The 1982 Bulldogs were 19–12 (10–8) were once again NIT bound. This time UGA made it all the way to the NIT Final Four defeating Temple, Maryland, and Virginia Tech before losing a heart breaker to Purdue at Madison Square Garden.

These two teams marked the beginning of a post season streak of eight straight seasons, longest in Georgia basketball history. This string included three NCAA appearances (including one Final Four in 1983) and five NIT bids. This was a remarkable streak of consistency for a program that had never before experienced the post season beyond the SEC tournament.


Former NBA star Dominique Wilkins is considered the greatest player in school history.[3] However, Wilkins never played in the NCAA tournament; the Bulldogs made their first NCAA appearance in 1983—which would have been Wilkins' senior year had he not opted for the NBA. The 1983 team made it to the Final Four of the NCAA Championship before being eliminated by eventual champion North Carolina State. On the way to the Final Four, UGA defeated Virginia Commonwealth, #3 St. John's led by legendary coach Lou Carneseca and Chris Mullen, and defending national champion North Carolina led by Dean Smith and featuring Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, and Brad Daugherty. The latter two victories coming at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. UGA previously had won the Southeastern Conference tournament in Birmingham, AL defeating Ole Miss, Tennessee, and Alabama to earn the league's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.


The 1987 Georgia basketball team suffered injury after injury after injury leaving the team with only seven players available. Coach Hugh Durham had no choice but to alter the playing style of his team after conference play had started, slowing the game down and "taking the air out of the ball." What looked to be a disastrous season, where the team might not win another game, turned into an inspiring one as the team rallied to an 18–12 (10–8) record and earning an NCAA tournament bid. When Durham ordered the NCAA tournament banner to be displayed at Stegeman Coliseum, he had it made in silver, rather than the traditional red, with the initials "TMW" at the bottom. The initials standing for what this team will forever be known as in UGA basketball history, "The Miracle Workers."


Tubby Smith led the Bulldogs to a 21–10 (9–7) record securing its first NCAA bid since the 1991 season. Georgia made the most of it by defeating Clemson and the West Regional's top seed, Purdue, in Albuquerque, NM before losing a heart stopping overtime game to Syracuse in the Sweet 16.

In 1997, Georgia finished 23–9 (10–6) winning the prestigious Rainbow Classic holiday tournament in Hawaii, defeating Washington State, Memphis, and Maryland. UGA beat LSU, South Carolina, and Arkansas to advance to the SEC tournament final in Memphis, losing the final to Kentucky.

Smith's successor, Ron Jirsa, led the 1998 Bulldogs to a 21–14 (8–8) record, reaching the 20 win mark for the third consecutive year for the first time in Georgia basketball history. They would go on to reach the NIT Final Four winning at Iowa, at North Carolina State, and beating Vanderbilt at home.


2008 SEC Tournament: The Dream DawgsEdit

In the 2007–2008 season, Georgia's men's basketball team came into the 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament with a 13–16 overall record and a 4–12 conference mark. At one point, the team sustained two five-game losing streaks during a 2-of-12 stretch in conference play. In the first round of the tournament, Georgia was slated to play Ole Miss, who had beaten the Bulldogs in the season-closer, securing the Rebels' only road SEC win of the season. The game went into overtime after Rebel David Huertas hit all three free throws after a three-point shooting foul, and looked to go into a second extra period after Chris Warren did the same. However, with 0.4 seconds left in overtime, Georgia senior Dave Bliss banked in the game-winner to shock the Rebels and send Georgia into a second-round matchup with Kentucky.

On the night of March 14, 2008, tornadoes hit Atlanta, in whose Georgia Dome the SEC Tournament was housed. The Georgia-Kentucky matchup was rescheduled for the early afternoon of March 15, 2008, with the winner advancing to play the SEC West's #1 seed, Mississippi State, later that evening. The remaining games in the tournament would be played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, the basketball complex of Georgia Tech, UGA's in-state rival. Again playing an overtime game in which Georgia star Sundiata Gaines fouled out, Georgia freshman Zac Swansey hit a turnaround three-point jumper with 1.4 seconds left to give the Bulldogs the team's first ever win over Kentucky in the SEC Tournament.[4] That night, Georgia defeated Mississippi State 64–60 to become the first team since Kentucky in 1952 to win two tournament games in one day, and the first-ever #6 seed from a division to advance to the modern (post-1992) SEC tournament finals.

In the finals, Georgia faced Arkansas, which had lost to Georgia 82–69 in the regular season. Georgia prevailed again, at one point leading the Razorbacks by nineteen points en route to winning its first tournament championship in 25 years. Sundiata Gaines and Terrance Woodbury were both named to the All-Tournament Team, with Gaines winning the tournament's MVP. The improbable list of achievements—winning the tournament as a 6-seed, playing two games in one day to reach the finals, playing two games (against Kentucky and Mississippi State) in which Gaines fouled out with a substantial amount of time to play, doing it on a rival's home court, and winning four consecutive elimination games following a season during which their longest winning streak stood at three—earned the 2007–2008 team the nickname of Dream Dawgs.[5]

With the victory, Georgia secured itself an automatic bid in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Georgia's appearance in the tournament was the tenth overall in team history and the first since the 2002 NCAA Basketball Tournament. After their SEC Championship run, the Bulldogs were seeded 14th in the NCAA Tournament, playing against the #3 seeded Xavier Musketeers. After developing a lead early in the 2nd half, the Bulldogs could not hold on, as Xavier went on to win 73–61.

Coach Dennis Felton failed to follow up the surprise successes of 2008 with victories in 2008–09, and he was fired on January 29, 2009.

2009–2018: Mark Fox eraEdit

On April 3, 2009, Nevada head coach Mark Fox was announced as the next head coach of the Bulldogs.[6]

In nine seasons with Fox, the Bulldogs posted a 163–133 record and made the NCAA tournament twice, in 2011 and 2015. In both instances, the Bulldogs exited in the Round of 64.[7]

Fox was fired on March 10, 2018 following an 18–15 finish to the 2017–18 season as the Bulldogs failed to qualify for any postseason competition.[8]

2018: Tom Crean eraEdit

On March 15, 2018, former Marquette and Indiana head coach Tom Crean was announced as the next head coach of the Bulldogs.[9]

Team awards and recordsEdit

Conference championshipsEdit

Georgia has won one regular-season Southeastern Conference championship (1990) and two conference tournament championships (1983 and 2008). The Bulldogs were SEC Eastern Division co-Champs in 1994–1995. Georgia also was the Southern Conference champions for 1931–1932.

Conference affiliations:


NCAA tournament resultsEdit

The Bulldogs have appeared in the NCAA Tournament 12 times. Their combined record is 7–12. However, their appearances in 1985 and 2002 have been vacated by the NCAA making their official record 5–10.

Year Seed Round Opponent Results
1983 #4 Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#5 VCU
#1 St. John's
#2 North Carolina
#6 NC State
W 56–54
W 70–67
W 82–77
L 60–67
1985* #6 Round of 64
Round of 32
#11 Wichita State
#3 Illinois
W 67–59
L 58–74
1987 #8 Round of 64 #9 Kansas State L 79–82 OT
1990 #7 Round of 64 #10 Texas L 88–100
1991 #11 Round of 64 #6 Pittsburgh L 68–76 OT
1996 #8 Round of 64
Round of 32
Sweet Sixteen
#9 Clemson
#1 Purdue
#4 Syracuse
W 81–74
W 76–69
L 81–83 OT
1997 #3 Round of 64 #14 Chattanooga L 70–73
2001 #8 Round of 64 #9 Missouri L 68–70
2002* #3 Round of 64
Round of 32
#14 Murray State
#11 Southern Illinois
W 85–68
L 75–77
2008 #14 Round of 64 #3 Xavier L 61–73
2011 #10 Round of 64 #7 Washington L 65–68
2015 #10 Round of 64 #7 Michigan State L 63–70

* Vacated by the NCAA

NIT resultsEdit

The Bulldogs have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) 14 times. Their combined record is 13–14.

Year Round Opponent Result
1981 First Round
Second Round
Old Dominion
South Alabama
W 74–60
L 72–73
1982 First Round
Second Round
Virginia Tech
W 73–60
W 83–69
W 90–73
L 60–61
1984 First Round Chattanooga L 69–74
1986 First Round
Second Round
W 95–81
L 65–77
1988 First Round
Second Round
Georgia Southern
Middle Tennessee
W 53–48
L 54–69
1993 First Round West Virginia L 84–95
1995 First Round Nebraska L 61–69
1998 First Round
Second Round
3rd Place Game
NC State
Penn State
Fresno State
W 88–70
W 80–79
W 77–70
L 60–66
W 95–79
1999 First Round Clemson L 57–77
2004 First Round Iowa State L 74–82
2007 First Round
Second Round
Fresno State
Air Force
W 88–78
L 52–83
2014 First Round
Second Round
Louisiana Tech
W 63–56
L 71–79
2016 First Round
Second Round
Saint Mary's
W 93–84
L 65–77
2017 First Round Belmont L 69–78



Player Position Year(s) Selectors
Zippy Morocco Guard 1953 Helms Athletic Foundation, Associated Press
Bob Lienhard (2) Center 1969, 1970 Helms Athletic Foundation
Dominique Wilkins (2) Forward 1981, 1982 The Sporting News, NABC, UPI, Associated Press
Vern Fleming (2) Guard 1983, 1984 Kodak, NABC
James Bank Forward 1984 Playboy
Cedric Henderson Forward 1985 Associated Press
Litterial Green Guard 1989 Basketball Weekly
Alec Kessler Center 1990 UPI
Litterial Green Guard 1991 Associated Press
Jumaine Jones Forward 1999 Associated Press
Jarvis Hayes (2) Forward 2002, 2003 Associated Press
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Guard 2013 Associated Press
Yante Maten Forward 2018 Associated Press

Basketball Hall of FameEdit

Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Player of the YearEdit

Notable former playersEdit

Head coachesEdit

No. Name Seasons Record Pct.
1 Walter Forbes 1906–07 2–2 .500
2 C.O. Heidler 1908–10, 12 16–6 .727
3 W.A. Cunningham 1911, 17 10–6 .625
4 Howell Peacock 1913–16 30–7 .811
5 Alfred Scott 1918 6–1 .857
6 Kennon Mott 1919 5–3 .625
7 Herman Stegeman 1920–31 170–78 .685
8 Rex Enright 1932–37 69–51 .575
9 Vernon Smith 1938 1–1 .500
10 Frank Johnson 1938 8–5 .615
11 Elmer A. Lampe 1938–46 82–84 .499
12 Ralph Jordan 1947–50 44–39 .530
13 Jim Whatley 1950–51 24–18 .571
14 Harbin Lawson 1952–65 112–241 .317
15 Ken Rosemond 1966–73 92–111 .453
16 John Guthrie 1974–78 46–86 .348
17 Hugh Durham 1979–95 297–215† .580
18 Tubby Smith 1996–97 45–19 .703
19 Ron Jirsa 1998–99 35–30 .538
20 Jim Harrick 2000–03 37–52‡ .416
21 Dennis Felton 2004–09 84–91 .480
22 Pete Herrmann 2009 (interim) 3–9 .250
23 Mark Fox 2009–18 145–118 .551
24 Tom Crean 2018–present 11-21 .344

† – Does not include 1 win and 1 loss from the 1985 NCAA Tournament vacated due to sanctions.

‡ – Does not include 30 wins and 1 loss vacated due to sanctions.[11]

Home venuesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ University of Georgia Brand Guide (PDF). June 26, 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "Southern Conference History" (PDF). Southern Conference 2006 Media Guide. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
  3. ^ "UGA Men's Basketball". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved January 12, 2008.
  4. ^ "Georgia Takes Down Kentucky In Overtime". Retrieved March 22, 2008.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Dream Dawgs". Archived from the original on March 18, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2008.
  6. ^ "Fox leaves Nevada for Georgia". ESPN. April 3, 2009. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  7. ^ "NCAA Basketball Tournament History: Georgia". ESPN. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  8. ^ "Georgia fires Mark Fox after disappointing 9th season". Associated Press. March 10, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  9. ^ "Tom Crean named Bulldogs' head coach". March 15, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  10. ^ "Georgia All-Americas". Georgia Bulldogs. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  11. ^ "Georgia Basketball All-Time Head Coaches". University of Georgia athletic department. Retrieved March 22, 2018.

External linksEdit