Game 19: Georgetown Hoyas (11 -7, 4-2) vs No. 5 Xavier Musketeers (16-1, 4-1)
Series: Xavier leads 8-3 and won all three games against Georgetown last season
Where/When: Cintas Center, 8:30 PM Tuesday
Line: Xavier -10
With their backs up against the wall as close as possible, Georgetown once again gets a chance for a marquee win tonight against Xavier that would go a long way towards turning around a season that started with such promise yet has been quite disappointing to date.
So with that let's focus a little on JT3's record against Top 10 teams. As it stands now, the Hoyas have dropped all three games this season against Top 10 teams (Maryland, Duke, and Villanova) but they should have three more chances to pick up a win starting tonight in Xavier.
For just the sixth time in Coach John Thompson III's tenure at Georgetown, the Hoyas are playing back-to-back Top 10 opponents. In each of the previous five occasions, the Hoyas split going 1-1.
2014: Villanova L, Michigan State W
2010: Syracuse L, Duke W
2009 (2x): UConn W, Pittsburgh L....Syracuse W, Duke L
2007: North Carolina W, Ohio State L
Last year the Hoyas had just three shots at a Top 10 team (Villanova 2x and Wisconsin) but they took down Jay Wright's crew at the Verizon Center to extend their streak of seven straight seasons with at least once such victory against a big boy.
In fact in JT3's previous eleven seasons at Georgetown, the Hoyas have taken down at least one Top 10 foe in nine of those seasons. In seven of those seasons Georgetown has beaten at least two Top 10 teams with the most in a season being four (2006).
2014: Michigan State (MSG)
2013: Louisville, at Syracuse
2012: Memphis (Maui), at Louisville
2011: Missouri (Kansas City), at Villanova
2010: Duke, Villanova, Syracuse (BET)
2009: at Connecticut, Syracuse, at Villanova
2008: none - closest was No. 12 Louisville
2007: Pittsburgh, North Carolina (NCAA)
2006: Duke, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Ohio State (NCAA)
2005: none - closest was at No. 16 Pittsburgh
So that's the good news. The Hoyas usually beat a Top 10 team at least once a season and they have never been swept in back-to-backs.
The bad news is that if there were ever an opponent to buck those trends it's Xavier. Xavier has owned the Hoyas in this new BIG EAST by going 4-1. The last time the Hoyas beat Xavier away from home Allen Iverson was a freshmen playing in his first NCAA Tournament game. So, yeah, it's been awhile.
Here's some basic info on Xavier:
Last time out: Xavier beat Marquette 74-66 over the weekend.
RPI: Three. Right now the Hoyas are one of two teams in the BIG EAST without a Top 50 RPI win.
Who to Watch: Trevon Bluiett is the current BIG EAST player of the Week while Edmond Sumner is the Freshman of the Week. Sumner hadn't played since a New Year's Eve loss to Villanova after suffering a concussion but bounced back nicely to with 15 points and five assists in a win over Marquette. Bluiett had a career high 24 against DePaul and then went for 18 against Marquette. The Sophomore has gone for double figures in 16 of Xavier's 17 games this season.
Three Things I'd like to see from the Hoyas:
Derrickson at the 5. Why not? Jenkins did it for Villanova at times last Saturday. Right now it's either Hayes or Govan in for the Hoyas but let's try something different.
More of that press from Saturday. Now Georgetown didn't score that often so that cuts down your opportunities to press but I expect the Xavier game to be a high scoring affair.
More Kaleb Johnson. He both deserves the minutes and it while this year isn't over just yet, it will help for next season.
Reason to be delusional: That Top 10 win is coming so it might as well come tonight.
Reason to be cynical: The Cintas Center has been a House of Horrors for the Hoyas since midway through the second half of the 2014 game. The Hoyas led 53-36 with about 15 minutes left in the game only to ultimately fall 80-67. Georgetown didn't score over the final six minutes.