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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Bad weather, gridlock wreak havoc on the college hoops slate in the South

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Snow and freezing rain has paralyzed roads in the Atlanta area (AP)

For all the handwringing over whether bad weather could delay the Super Bowl, the NFL's showcase game almost certainly won't even be the sporting event most impacted by winter storms this week.

Taking that honor is Wednesday's college basketball slate in the Southeast.

A rare winter storm that brought snow and freezing rain to the Deep South over night and paralyzed Atlanta-area roadways has also forced the postponement of several Division I college basketball games.

Auburn and Alabama jointly announced late Tuesday night that their game scheduled for Wednesday night in Auburn will be postponed until the following evening due to concerns about fan and player safety. South Alabama's game at Georgia State was also postponed until Monday because the Jaguars were unable to fly or drive to the Atlanta area as of Wednesday morning.

Though those are the only two postponements so far, weather has also impacted several other games in the region.

Vanderbilt's SEC game at Georgia reportedly will not be televised because the broadcast crew couldn't make it to Athens due to road conditions. Georgia coach Mark Fox knows icy roads will likely prevent many alumni from making the trip to Athens, so he persuaded the administration to make student tickets free Wednesday night in hopes of a large turnout.

Tweeted Fox, "Students, ATL is a straight-up mess with this weather. It'll be tough for fans from there to come. You can make [it] and we need you to be the DawgNation. Sorority sisters, my theory when I spoke with you [was] if you come, the guys will follow. 100 per house [equals] 2,000. That'll bring 3000 guys! Let's get 5K!"

Georgia Tech may have similar problems drawing fans for its home game against North Carolina on Wednesday night, but at least both teams successfully made it. The Tar Heels finally arrived at their hotel in Atlanta at 1:45 a.m. Wednesday morning after their flight was delayed and their bus got ensnared in the gridlock on the way to the airport, forcing them to find a van service that could take the team to the train station.

Even as far as Baton Rouge, the winter storm has made an impact on college hoops. LSU would normally get its biggest crowd of the season for Kentucky's visit, but its arena was barely half full Tuesday night when the Tigers upset the Wildcats.

Expect similar scenes throughout the South on Wednesday night for the games that do get played. Stormy weather rarely seen in the region has made travel an adventure.

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