Game 29: Seton Hall Pirates (16-11, 7-8) at Georgetown Hoyas (17-11, 7-8)
When: Saturday, 630pm
Where: Capital One Arena
Series: Hoyas lead 58-48, Pirates won the first meeting 90-75 on Feb 13
TV: CBS Sports Net (John Sadak & Bob Wenzel)
Radio: Team 980, SiriusXM channel 81 (Rich Chvotkin)
NET Ranking: Seton Hall 64, Georgetown 72
KenPom Ranking: Seton Hall 61, Georgetown 80
KenPom Projection: Georgetown 78, DePaul 76 (56 percent)
Line: Georgetown – 2, o/u 155.5
Well we’ve made it to March and Georgetown has already done what most people weren’t counting on before the season started as the Hoyas still have meaningful games to play in terms of NCAA Tournament considerations.
Yes, there is a decent amount of work ahead of them but the Hoyas still control their own destiny as they look to crash the Big Dance in coach Patrick Ewing’s second-year.
This rare Saturday evening home tilt doubles as Senior Night this season giving fans one last chance to say their goodbyes to Jessie Govan, Kaleb Johnson, Trey Mourning, and Greg Malinowski at Capital One Arena. (Sure it’s possible that there could be another home game later on in the NIT but we can discuss that later. And let’s be honest, it would probably be at McDonough anyway.)
While there will surely be some emotions early on as all four seniors will be honored before the opening tip-off, Georgetown really doesn’t have a whole lot of time to get caught up in that because of just how high the stakes are against the Pirates. The second meeting with Seton Hall is a virtual elimination contest for two teams trying to boost their resumes while knocking the other team out in the process.
The Hoyas haven’t been to the tournament since 2015 while Kevin Willard has guided Seton Hall to the last three. The Pirates have some solid non-conference wins over Kentucky and Maryland but at just 7-8 in the league have yet to lock up another bid. Georgetown won’t be the only squad feeling a bit of urgency in this game as the league schedule didn’t do the Pirates any favors. Seton Hall finishes the season by welcoming in both Marquette and Villanova to Newark before heading off the BIG EAST Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
Georgetown took care of business in one against DePaul during the week behind strong play from Govan, Mac McClung, and James Akinjo in as close to a wire to wire win as you will see. Georgetown needed to avoid a loss and that’s exactly what they accomplished as DePaul, who had won two straight in DC, led for just 12 seconds.
In the first meeting with Seton Hall, the Hoyas had no answer for Myles Powell who led four in double-figures with 30 points. Powell connected on four 3-pointers and knocked down all 10 of his free throws. Sandro Mamukelashvil and Michael Nzei combined for 29 points and 17 rebounds, controlling the paint in a game where it looked like the Pirates might score 100.
Outside of 20 points from Govan and 16 from Malinowski off the bench, the Hoyas didn’t get much going offensively. McClung and Akinjo struggled mightily by combining for just nine points on 2 for 11 shooting.
The Hoyas are going to need a repeat performance from the DePaul win in terms of a fast start, good energy, and strong contributions from the starters to go along with what will likely be spirited efforts from the reserve senior trio. Georgetown can’t clinch a berth to the tournament with a win but they can certainly kiss one good-bye with a loss.
We didn’t have a chance to catch up with all of the seniors before their final home game but here’s what Govan had to say after scoring a game-high 26 points in the victory over DePaul on Wednesday.
“Yeah I have a lot of family coming,” Govan said when asked about his plan for Saturday night’s festivities.
“It’s going to be hopefully a good event for me, my last home game here. We’ve had some great games here and college is everything that I’ve expected so far. You know obviously I hoped we could win more but still got a chance to go out on the right foot right now. So to have my senior night Saturday is going to be something special.”
Georgetown 86, Seton Hall 80 – The Hoyas pull away late on Senior Night to once again get back to .500 in the league and more importantly stay in the mix for the NCAA Tournament.