If results on the hardwood are any measure, Georgia already has a leg up on Alabama in Monday’s College Football Playoff national championship game.

The Bulldogs thumped the Crimson Tide in basketball on Saturday, 65-46, at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.

This is the fourth time in the Bowl Championship Series and College Football Playoff era where the eventual college football championship game participants met in basketball prior to the title game, according to ESPN. Each of the previous three times, the winner of the basketball game also won the football game.

Georgia’s defense was characteristically good on the court, and will need to be on the gridiron, as well, if the Bulldogs expect to win Monday. Alabama freshman guard Collin Sexton scored 23 points, but the Tide shot 29.8 percent from the field and 17.4 percent from three-point range.

Yante Maten and Rayshaun Hammonds had big days for the Bulldogs, something tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel will have to emulate against that rugged Alabama football defense.

Maten scored a game-high 26 points. Hammonds added 13 and grabbed eight rebounds.

Georgia basketball Coach Mark Fox took both looming matchups against Alabama pretty seriously heading into the weekend. He recounted the time in 2013 he painted his chest red and watched from the student section as the football team played LSU. Georgia won that game, 44-41.

Now, he wants the same effort out of Georgia fans to help Kirby Smart’s team.

“I know it may be your life savings,” he said, “but get your butt in the Benz Dome [Mercedez-Benz Arena] and find a way to help your team.”

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