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Sports Illustrated Ranks Georgetown as the 17th Best Program in the Nation

Mitchell Layton

What better way to kill the remainder of this monotonous offseason than by debating rankings!  This new rankings offering by our friends at Sports Illustrated takes a look at the nation's best college basketball programs.  And wouldn't you know it, our beloved Georgetown Hoyas crack the list coming in at number 17.

Pluses: Great basketball brand and history, strong budget, location/recruiting area, status as potential best program in the new Big East

Minuses: Recent postseason flops, move away from ESPN to lesser-watched Fox Sports 1 with new Big East TV deal

The Hoyas have become an easy punching bag for five straight NCAA tournament losses to double-digit seeds, including this past season as a 2-seed to Florida Gulf Coast. The postseason disasters have obscured a really, really strong run for the Hoyas, who have garnered five top-three seeds in the last seven seasons and made the Final Four in 2007. Now, they move with the other Catholic schools to the new Big East and look to be an agenda-setting heavyweight in that conference. The league should remain pretty good, with historic bottomfeeders having a chance to improve in a less daunting league and new imports like Xavier, Creighton and Butler adding solid depth with upside quality. The Hoyas, who spent over $10 million on hoops in 2011-12, may be more positioned to weather a TV exposure downturn with the move to Fox given their national brand, legacy of success and some quality nonleague games.