Georgia's undoing is Tennessee's blessing.
With the withdrawal of the Bulldogs from postseason play, the Volunteers moved up to the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Division of the upcoming SEC Tournament, giving UT a bye to the second round, the SEC announced Monday.
Tennessee (17-10, 9-7 SEC) will now play Auburn, the Western Division's second seed, on Friday at 9:45 p.m. at the Superdome in New Orleans.
The Vols took the bye away from LSU, the third-seeded team in the SEC, because they have a better conference record than the Tigers (19-10, 8-8).
Georgia Athletics Director Vince Dooley announced Monday that coach Jim Harrick would be suspended with pay and the Bulldogs would not participate in either the SEC or NCAA Tournaments.
An internal investigation showed three Georgia players took a phony class taught by assistant coach Jim Harrick Jr. Georgia starters Chris Daniels and Rashad Wright, along with former player Tony Cole, were all in the class.
"The evidence and the findings presented to us indicated there was academic fraud," Dooley said. "There's no evidence at all that coach Harrick knew about what took place."
Cole, who was kicked off the team last year, accused Harrick Jr. of paying telephone bills and doing schoolwork for Cole, while he was at Georgia.
Harrick Jr. was fired Wednesday.
Tennessee, a bubble team, in need of advancing in the SEC Tournament to firmly secure a spot in the SEC Tournament will now bypass the first round. The Vols were originally scheduled to play Ole Miss on Thursday at 1 p.m.
Both Auburn and Tennessee enter the tournament on the bubble, and the game may serve as an elimination game from NCAA Tournament contention.
Tennessee beat Auburn (19-10, 8-8) 60-57 on Feb. 1 in Auburn.
South Carolina moves up to the fourth seed from the Eastern Division, while Vanderbilt moves up to No. 5.
LSU now plays Arkansas, the Western Division's sixth seed, at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday.
-The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Bulldogs out of postseason, Vols pick up first-round bye
Published: Tue Mar 11, 2003 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 04:56 p.m.