Game 25: Georgetown Hoyas (13-11, 4-7) vs Villanova Wildcats (22-2, 9-2)
Series: Hoyas lead 44-34
Where/When: The Pavilion, Tuesday 7pm
TV: FS1 (Tim Brando, Bill Raftery)
KenPom: Villanova 78-63, 91 percent
Line: Villanova -13.5
With their three game winning streak now over and their postseason chances on life support, Georgetown travels to its most difficult road game of the season on Tuesday night to take on the defending national champions in No. 2 Villanova.
The Hoyas have lost four straight away games to Villanova with their last win coming thanks in large part to 30 points from Austin Freeman in a 69-66 win on Jan 29, 2011. So, yeah, it’s been awhile.
Villanova’s senior class led by local DMV standouts Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins have won a program best 119 games during their time as Wildcats. Villanova has won 47 straight games on campus and the aforementioned senior class has just lost two games at either The Pavilion or Wells Fargo in their three plus seasons under coach Jay Wright. The best thing about the Hart/Jenkins era for Hoya fans is that it’s just about over.
Rodney Pryor and LJ Peak need to be far better than their combined 12 for 32 output against Seton Hall in these final seven regular season games if Georgetown has any thoughts of putting together one final winning streak.
In building off the positives from the last game, Georgetown received an excellent performance from Akoy Agau off the bench. Agau had seven points, 11 rebounds, and five blocks before fouling out. Jagan Mosely also provided a lift in his fourth straight game coming off the bench with seven points, two assists, and zero turnovers. Those are the two reserves that need consistent minutes right now. Bradley Hayes is still hit or miss while Reggie Cameron, Tre Campbell, and Kaleb Johnson can’t seem to get consistent minutes from one game to the next.
Georgetown actually did well rebounding and limiting turnovers against the Pirates despite the end result. Both of those will need to continue against Villanova as well as an improvement in three point shooting. The Hoyas five percent shooting mark against Seton Hall was the worst performance in John Thompson III’s 13 seasons in charge. Just making two three pointers in regulation would have been enough for a critical win despite Angel Delgado’s Mike Sweetney like double-double performance.
I wasn’t able to make Georgetown’s media avail on Monday afternoon but I did find a Jay Wright quote that I found interesting.
It looks like the nicest thing Wright had to say about the Hoyas in the lead up to game was this: “That’s a long athletic Georgetown team that could turn us over like St. John’s did.”
First of all being compared to St. John’s hasn’t been a compliment in what seems like forever and it’s not like the Red Storm even came all that close to taking down Villanova in said game. The Wildcats came away with the 92-79 victory despite turning it over 23 times.
BET Seeding: By losing in overtime this past weekend the Hoyas went from being the six seed to the nine seed if the tournament started today. Georgetown would currently play the eighth seeded Friars on Wednesday night in the Garden. So not only is the current seed bad but the potential matchup with a Providence is awful as the Friars have won six straight and 7 of the last 8 against the Hoyas.
NCAA: BIG EAST Tournament Champions or bust is coming up fast after the Hoyas latest loss. By my count Georgetown needs to go 6-1 or possibly 5-2 the rest of the way in order to snag a spot in the First Four in Dayton. Seeing as how there’s now easy way to get to this mark, this game is as good as any to start winning. The good news is that Georgetown has won back-to-back road games within the league.
NIT or at least a .500 final record: With seven games remaining Georgetown needs to go 3-4 the rest of the way to ensure a winning record heading into the BIG EAST Tournament. This now looks a bit in doubt as Georgetown will likely only be favored in two or three more games this season.
Reason to be cynical: Villanova has gone 16-2 in each of the last three seasons in the BIG EAST. At 9-2, it’s unlikely the Wildcats lose again this season.
Reason to be delusional: DePaul hung tough with Villanova at The Pavilion earlier this season. There’s your hope.
Prediction: Georgetown will be making just its third visit to The Pavilion, both coming in JT3’s first two seasons. He’s 1-1 in those games with the victory coming during the Wildcats 20 year celebration of the 1985 National Championship. I was at that game and I’ll be at this one. Maybe I see lightning strike twice? Probably not.
Villanova 80, Georgetown 71