Wake Forest-Georgia tangle again, this time in NIT

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 23 Mar, 2024 at 09:50 PM

Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 seeded Wake Forest will host No. 4 seed Georgia in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament on Sunday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Wake Forest (21-13) of the ACC advanced with an 87-76 victory on Wednesday over Appalachian State, while Georgia (18-16) of the SEC scraped past Xavier 78-76 on Tuesday.

The winner of Sunday's game will play either Virginia Tech or Ohio State in the quarterfinals.

Wake Forest is 17-1 inside its raucous home arena this season; Georgia has a 4-6 record on opponents' floors and is 0-3 at neutral sites.

Sunday's contest will be a rematch of the second game of the season. Georgia held off Wake Forest 80-77 behind Noah Thomasson's 21 points in Athens, Ga., Nov. 10.

Wake Forest coach Steve Forbes said the early loss to the Bulldogs doesn't matter much now.

"We're just a different team now. ... We weren't in a good place at that point," Forbes said. "They (Georgia) beat us. I haven't watched them a lot, because we're not in the same league."

This is the second time in Forbes' four seasons at Wake Forest that he has taken his team to the postseason. Forbes' 2022 team reached the NIT quarterfinals.

The Demon Deacons got 31 points from Kevin Miller and 19 from Cameron Hildreth against Appalachian State.

Shooting guard Hunter Sallis (18.0 points per game) is Wake Forest's most dangerous threat. But guards Miller (15.6 ppg), Hildreth (13.9 ppg) and forward Andrew Carr (12.9 ppg, 6.7 rebounds per game) have all had big games this season.

Georgia's Silas Demary Jr. led his team with 16 points against Xavier.

"We've grinded out games a lot," Demary said. "We've had a little bit of adversity. But honestly, we just wanted to stay together and move on."

Thomasson leads the Bulldogs with 12.7 points per game, supported in the attack by guards Jabri Abdur-Rahim (12.2 ppg), RJ Melendez (10.0 ppg) and Demary (9.7 ppg).

--Field Level Media