What a relief. Georgetown dominated upstart Belmont today in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, handily defeating the Bruins 74-59 in a game that was never in question. The seniors led the way for the Hoyas. Jason Clark was spectacular, scoring 21 points on 9-12 shooting from the field. Clark set the tone for the game, racing out to 10 points in the first 6 minutes. His brother-in-arms, Henry Sims, led the way in the second half and finished with 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists.
The freshmen weren't too bad either. And by weren't too bad, I mean they were so fantastic that it makes me want to pee myself in sheer delight. Otto Porter did a ton of damage, scoring 16 points and grabbing 8 rebounds while Greg Whittington was all over the floor on defense. Whittington's effort on defense was arguably one of the best single defensive games I've ever seen a Georgetown player have under John Thompson III.
After The Jump it's all good.
Speaking of good ol' JT3 - my Lord what a coaching job. The Hoyas' length drove Belmont batty, holding the Bruins to 39 percent shooting and rarely giving up an uncontested shot while winning the turnover battle. The zone employed was aggressive, fierce, and overpowering - a perfect solution to stop Belmont from bombing threes. Georgetown's offense was stellar as well. The goal was to pound the ball into Sims and the other bigs, and it worked like a charm. Today's offensive performance was arguably the best of the season as the Hoyas shot 60-plus percent from the field and made too many layups and dunks to count.
Hollis Thompson struggled a bit offensively, but rebounded and defended well in a supporting role. Nate Lubick had one stretch that was maybe the worst thing I've ever seen, but all in all had a pretty solid game. He handed out five assists, rebounded well, and created an interior presence while Sims was glued to the bench in the first half because of foul trouble. Jabril Trawick, Markel Starks, and Mikael Hopkins gave the Hoyas good minutes as well, helping push Georgetown's lead from 4 points at 16-12 to double digits, with the Bruins never really threatening the rest of the game.
This win was so satisfying on so many levels. For one, it is the program's first NCAA Tournament win since the George W. Bush administration. Second, it shut up Seth Davis, Doug Gottlieb and the rest of the uninformed analysts who thought past performance was indicative of future results. Each analyst who picked Belmont should be ashamed at how incompetent and lazy they are. Only Rob Dauster of Ballin' Is A Habit and Jay Bilas were smart and diligent enough to realize that the Hoyas' length made for the worst possible match-up for Belmont. Third, it was the most complete performance of the season on the biggest stage. Fourth, it was the first NCAA Tournament win for Clark and Sims, two guys who have given every ounce of their efforts the past four years and should be rewarded for doing so, and were keys to their first tournament victory. Fifth, it took the monkey of JT3's back and hopefully will help earn him some recognition for the job he has done this year. Nothing better summed up today's game than the moment at the end when Sims came out of the game and shared a quick but emotional hug with Thompson. It was two guys who have been put through the ringer the last few years and deserve this victory. Hopefully it propels a deep run in the tournament, because we have the tools to do it.
Next up for the Hoyas is North Carolina State on Sunday. The Wolf Pack, who are fresh off a 79-65 victory over San Diego State, have size that will make them a challenging match-up for the Hoyas. On a personal note, I am writing this on my Blackberry from a toilet seat stall at a rehearsal dinner in Miami, the Hoyas' effort today was just too good to not write and it's the first NCAA Tournament victory in Casual Hoya history.
Plenty more to come over the next day before we take on NC State, but for now, we live to see another day and couldn't be happier with the way it was done. Also, eat poop to Stephen Curry, Armon Bassett, Shaka Smart and the rest of their teams. Belmont will not be joining you.
Hoya Saxa mothersuckers.