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The Calm After the Storm

Yes, the 'Cuse game was an emotional rollercoaster. A rollercoaster that started slowly, got a bit exciting towards the end, and ended so horribly that it made you want to unfasten your seatbelt during a loop and plummet to your death. The game has ruined my weekend (and a long weekend at that) just as it has likely ruined yours. However, heading into this season we knew this ride was going to be a precarious one, so let's at least attempt to put the past behind us and take an even-keeled look at what the Hoyas need to accomplish in the final 6 games as March beckons.

The Hoyas need to finish 5-1 down the stretch to assure a Tourney bid, with 4-2 plus a good showing in the Big East Tourney also a possibility.

Absolute Must-Wins: 1) at South Florida, 2) at St. John's, 3) DePaul.

2 out of 3 would be great, 1 of 3 OK, 0 for 3 and forget it: 4) Marquette, 5) Louisville, 6) at Nova.

02/18: at S. Florida – Simply put, the Hoyas MUST win this game. South Florida is one of the worst teams in the conference, and all the Hoyas need to do to win this game is shut down Dominique Jones. Jessie Sapp, who showed enough signs of life in the Cuse game to merit 20-25 minutes of playing time, should get the defensive assignment against Jones. Sapp should also remember the last time the Hoyas traveled to Tampa 2 years ago and laid an egg in a game that nearly cost the Hoyas a bye in the BET. A bye in the BET. Ah, the memories.
Prediction: Hoyas 69, South Florida 56. 14-10 (5-8)

02/21: MARQUETTE – As of now the single most important (and winnable) game left on our schedule. A win over the overachieving Warriors at Verizon would give the Hoyas a 4th win over a ranked team to pad the Tourney resume. Adding to the upside is Georgetown celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1984 championship squad at halftime, which is sure to fire up the crowd and prevent the kind of lackadaisical effort that has plagued us all season. The Wallace/Green/Hibbert squads came out firing in these games, usually reducing the opponent to shreds early in the 2nd half. I’m not sure this season’s squad has that fire, but assuming we can rebound and take advantage of size in this matchup (Monroe was being guarded by guys 6’5" at Marquette) and more importantly DICTATE TEMPO, the Hoyas should bank this one.
Prediction: Hoyas 77, Warriors 71. 15-10 (6-8)

02/23: LOUISVILLE – The Louisville game represents Georgetown's last home game against a top-flight contender. The Cardinals are an odd team, sometimes looking unbeatable and other times looking average. The key to beating L’ville is similar to beating Marquette – beat them inside and have them play at the Hoyas pace. Summers is going to have to show up BIG in this one - guarding Earl Clark on one end and taking the pressure off Monroe against fellow freshman Samardo Samuels on the other. Transition defense will also be a factor, as the Hoyas can't afford to let the Cards run out on breaks. Playing L'ville right after Marquette may be a blessing in disguise as the two run at a similar pace. I may be delusional, but I think the Hoyas can beat these guys at Verizon, and make a statement in the process. Edgar Sosa stinks.
Prediction: Hoyas 78, Cards 62. 16-10 (7-8)

02/28: at Villanova – Firmly back on the Bubble after 3 wins, the Hoyas will head to Philly to face the Wildcats. Nova is one of those annoying teams that always gives the Hoyas fits. Scottie Reynolds should be able to take advantage of Chris Wright and penetrate, allowing him to dish to numerous options behind the arc or feed Dante Cunningham inside. The worst part of this game will be having to see the requisite clips of the 1985 Championship game, none of which reference the cocaine habits of that Nova team all the while Jay Wright shows off the latest trends in men's fashion from the Wildcat sideline. I hate Nova. Loss.
Prediction: Wildcats 68, Hoyas 56. 16-11 (7-9).

03/03: at St. John's – With a .500 conference record still a possibility, the Hoyas end conference play with two must-wins at St. John’s and v. Depaul. MSG has been very friendly to the Hoyas in recent years, and I suspect the trend to continue in this one, as St. John’s has already been decimated by injuries and Monroe should have a field day inside in front of the always pro-Hoya NYC crowd. Cafe 31 beckons for post-game revelry.
Prediction: Hoyas 76, Johnnies 60. 17-11 (8-9)

03/07: DEPAUL – Senior Day at Verizon against the worst team in the Conference in a must-win? Sapp should go off for at least 6 points in this one.
Prediction: Hoyas 78, Blue Demons 60. 18-11 (9-9)

Hope survives.

Sort of.

Casually.