Our open thread remains open on Monday if you want to talk about the SEC in the NCAA tournament.
With three league teams advancing to the Super Regionals and two more in a holding pattern, only two results were outstanding for the SEC as we approached midnight in the East: What would happen to Georgia and Arkansas? The Dawgs had been one of the last SEC teams to make sure it was eligible to get in the postseason in the first place, and Arkansas had come from behind to win the SEC West title in an extraordinarily wide-open race.
It got late early for Arkansas out west. While the Hogs managed to get through the first game of the day against Charlotte, they quickly fell behind Arizona State in the final, but the decisive blow was the seven-run sixth inning that put the game out of reach. Only one member of the Arizona State lineup was held without a hit, and only two more had a single knock. The Arizona State bullpen kept the Razorbacks off the scoreboard for 2.2 innings to finish off the victory.
Georgia had even more of a bounce-back season, in large part because the Dawgs had a disastrous 2010. It was a massive down in the always up-and-down career of David Perno at Georgia. But 2011 seemed to be the first part of getting back on track. Fittingly, then, the final game against Oregon State was also a seesaw affair that ended in bizarre fashion, after the Beavers' closer got hit by a line drive and almost had to come out, then both teams headed for the dugouts after a bank of lights went out behind home plate. By the time it was over, it was possible to wonder if yet another twist was waiting in the game. But the Bulldogs went down fairly quietly after that.
The outlook for the teams in part depends on your perspective and whether you believe that past performance is an indicator of future results. If so, Arkansas fans know that their team's track record suggests that the Razorbacks will be back in the postseason. But for Georgia fans, there are plenty of reasons to wonder if Sunday was the beginning of the roller coaster rather than the end.