Georgia football is currently preparing for its first national championship game since 2017. Georgia men’s basketball, led by head coach Tom Crean, on the other hand, is at the bottom of the SEC standings with a 5-9 record overall. Their last five games consisted of a loss to George Mason, a single-digit victory over Western Carolina, a loss to East Tennessee, a loss to Gardner-Webb, and a loss to Texas A&M.
So, when the men’s basketball AP Poll was released on January 3, it was a shock to many of us to see Georgia in the “also receiving votes” category.
Georgia received 22 votes, meaning that SOMEBODY ranked Georgia fourth in the entire country! How does something like this happen? It has to be a mistake, right? As it turns out, yeah. It was.
Stephen Tsai, an author for the Honolulu Star Advertiser, is the culprit in this Scooby-Doo mystery. Tsai did, in fact, rank Georgia No. 4 in the country.
Why? Well, as it turns out, Tsai must’ve mistaken the ‘G’ in the Georgia logo for Gonzaga’s ‘G’ or something along those lines. Tsai thought he was voting for the 11-2 Gonzaga Bulldogs, and mistakenly ended up giving the Georgia Bulldogs 22 votes. Tsai never offered an official statement regarding his mistake, but the error has since been fixed and the AP Poll, which was updated mid-week, no longer has Georgia listed anywhere.
Tsai made a mistake that I’m sure he’s not going to live down for a few months, or at least until the end of the college basketball season. It happens to the best of us. Similar mistakes have happened in the past, like in 2020 when Maria Taylor forgot to include Anthony Davis on her All-NBA ballot. Many other All-NBA voters came to her defense claiming they’d made similar mistakes in the past.
The one positive people should take away from this whole situation is how quickly the Associated Press contacted Tsai and fixed the problem. It took them less than two days to reach out, confirm he made a mistake, and adjust their rankings accordingly. Having the flexibility to fix obvious mistakes is an important factor for helping make sure voters never feel pressured into being 100 percent accurate all the time.
As was the case when Major League Baseball implemented their replay review system in 2014, the AP realized that sometimes oversights happen and being able to fix them will only help the sport in the long run. These lapses in concentration shouldn’t jeopardize the integrity of college basketball or the AP rankings. It’s good to see this one didn’t. Though it’s pretty damn hilarious.