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Pull Yourself Together, Man: BET Moments Challenge Rampant Cynicism

All season long the consensus has been that the Hoyas play better basketball when cast in an underdog role. That wish has come true, though things are looking good heading into the Dance.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, haters to the left. Did everybody get a sufficient amount of paranoid ranting out of their systems yesterday? Has the collective consciousness of the media and your March Madness twitter feed familiarized you with every possible reason to lose sleep over our upcoming matchup? Good.

Time to switch things up. The NCAA tournament kicks off TONIGHT in Dayton and your Georgetown Hoyas will take on the Eagles of Eastern Washington University 2 days from now. In the immediate aftermath of Selection Sunday there was precipitous descent into cynicism and terror, obscuring some promising moments and developments that occurred up to and during the Big East Tournament. Let's recap.

Tre Campbell's minutes fluctuate greatly from game to game, depending on the matchup. His boundless energy and speed, however, does not. It was exciting to watch our heir-apparent PG singlehandedly pressing Creighton on Thursday night. It's even more fun when you know he's willing to step up and take fearless shots like these, both on passes from Hopkins, in the waning seconds of the shot clock.


Joshua Smith once again faced off against the lumbering Matt Stainbrook. Though he was neutralized on the offensive side later in the game, Smith managed to rack up 10 points in the first half alone. It was the 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals (including this crafty poke) that comprised the more significant part of his contribution.


Isaac Copeland seems to have gotten the taste for aggressive dunks. If this was the breakthrough in getting back the confidence that let to the Friday night's performance against Xavier after a few games of quiet stat lines and missed bunnies, we love it even more.


D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera finished off this game. With a circus shot that only he understood and four smooth free throws, the Bluejays were beaten to achieve that elusive season three-sweep. In the fine tradition of Georgetown's guards in the JTIII era (hats off to you, J-Wall), he was ice cold in the best possible way.


There was another critical factor in the way this game turned, aside from DSR's heroics: the decision to change over to zone defense in the second half. The person we have to thank for that game-saving adjustment is on the sidelines. Who could it be?

Friday Night. Before the game appeared to be slipping away and Georgetown fans started to fear another whimpering finish, things got off to a fun start against the Xavier Musketeers. This happened. Because it's Aaron Bowen and because it's the Garden. We also need to credit Bowen's reaction time and Mikael Hopkins' "defense" on one more front. When Jalen Reynolds picked up the Technical with 7:53 remaining, Hopkins was immediately in between Jabril and the assailant while Bowen grabbed #55's arm in the blink of an eye to ensure no punch was forthcoming from the Hoyas' end. Way to know your teammates and stick together, boys.


Paul White has has a rough 2015 when it comes to shooting the basketball. Calm passes and improved defensive rotations are great, but he has been missing a lot of outside shots. He lost his confidence and started passing up open looks with alarming regularity. Seeing him finally decide to shake it off, try the shot and succeed (twice) was a good psychological moment in the game. Especially since the latter brought the Hoyas within two with 24 seconds left.


Speaking of confidence, Komrade managed to displace Stainbrook as he defended the Xavier big man, an aggressive play that he would not have attempted or been able to successfully execute in seasons past.

Jabril Trawick is a determined man. If DSR was the catalyst during Thursday's game, Brilly donned that mantle in the second half against Xavier. He made the first basket to starting clawing back from the 21-point deficit, backing down the much-larger Stainbrook. The senior enforcer also nailed a deep three, made NINE clutch free throws down the stretch and fearlessly drove into contact to draw fouls.


Brilldozer was coordinating the offense and firing things up, but Isaac Copeland's performance was astonishing. He nearly singlehandedly completed the improbable comeback, scoring 15 points in quick succession on a series of effortless shots. Look forward to more speechless moments like this.


With a shade under two minutes left, the Hoyas tried something bold. It didn't work. Immediately afterwards, my sentiment was that gambling on a tricky play with the game on the line was inexcusable. However, when comparing the "everything goes" mentality of this matchup with the previous losses it was clear that such a mindset was the entire reason for the comeback. The entire team was willing to play hard, forget their previous difficulties and take risks. It's a new look for the Hoyas.


John Thompson III has shown unprecedented flexibility this season. His lineup evolved, splitting Smith and Hopkins. Defensive strategies get altered to disrupt the flow of the game. Instead of a core 6 players and short bench, four freshmen have been getting regular minutes alongside the upperclassmen throughout the season. Set plays aren't limited to half court sets that use perimeter passes in the hope of an open outside shot - Georgetown drew up an alley-oop! Somebody pointed out in Friday night's gamethread that it is impossible to coach the ball into the basket. Still true, but barring that, Coach's decisions this season have satisfied the demands of those who wanted to see a different style of play and team management from the sidelines.

The performances from last weekend show that not one member of the rotation is comfortable retreating into the woodwork this March. This team got smacked around and they came back. Both nights. So get excited, damn it. Ostensibly you're here because you enjoy college basketball. This is should be the best time of year. Act like it.

It doesn't matter if the media is confident. It doesn't matter if the fans are confident.

It matters that the team is confident.