Game 26: (12) Georgetown Hoyas (13-12) vs (5) Colorado Buffaloes (22-8)
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse
When: Saturday 12:15 pm
Series: First Meeting
Last meeting: Never
TV: CBS (Andrew Catalon & Steve Lappas)
Radio: The Team 980, Sirius 138/210, Radio.com (Rich Chvotkin, 47th season)
KenPom Ranking: Colorado 18, Georgetown 55
KenPom Projection: Colorado 72, Georgetown 66 (69 percent)
Line: Colorado -6, 138 o/u
The wait is over as your Georgetown Hoyas are once again back where they belong in March Madness.
No, seriously, it’s been 2,191 days since Georgetown last played in the NCAA Tournament. While so much has changed in that time, the Hoyas still give off a very familiar feel. Look no further than Patrick Ewing leading Georgetown to a record setting 8th BIG EAST Tournament Championship. I mean what sounds more Georgetown that that?
So while Georgetown and Ewing were back to serving as the sport’s headliners last week, the season ending up in the Big Dance was anything but certain heading into the BET. It was really a tale of two teams in this anything but normal season. The pre pause team was well on it’s way to proving the league’s coaches correct with a last place finish looking almost certain.
The post pause Hoyas were anything but cellar dweller material. Sparked by Chudier Bile’s inclusion in the starting line-up, the growth of Dante Harris, and the consistent play of known commodities Jahvon Blair, Jamorko Pickett, and Qudus Wahab, the sky was the limit as they did the unthinkable in NYC.
As is tradition, Georgetown's first round game is the talk of an upset special. Big difference is that this time it's the Hoyas who are the trendy against the grain pick. What a time to be alive.
So what do we know about Colorado?
Well we know that McKliney Wright IV is a really good guard. Yes, Jamorko Pickett and Georgetown know all about Wright despite what the Denver Post tried to push this week.
KenPom has Colorado as Top 20 offense an Top 30 defense while playing at a rather slow pace of 282. By comparison Georgetown has a Top 40 defense - it’s best since the last NCAA team of 2015 - and an offense of 87 while playing at quicker pace of 112.
Tad Boyle has done a good job at Colorado but the Buffaloes hadn’t had the NCAA Tournament success yet going just 1-4. It’s something Boyle, who has led Colorado to its best ever seed, is very aware of.
“The fact that this is the highest seed that we’ve ever had it’s important that we take advantage of that,” Boyle said on Friday.
“We’re a 5 seed for a reason. Now we have to play like a 5 seed and if we do that we’ll be OK.”
Boyle went on to say other things about Georgetown which included referring to Pickett as a ‘Swiss Army Knife’, calling Blair coming off the bench ‘unique’, and deciding that only older guys like himself understand Georgetown’s mystique. He also didn’t correct a reporter who said Colorado was playing the role of underdog. The Buffaloes are, in fact, favored by six as I’m writing this. Oh, he also hopes his players read I Came As A Shadow so that’s nice.
Bobby’s Keys for Georgetown:
These are pretty much the same as they’ve been for quite some time.
- Keep Turnovers under 15
- Shoot more FTs than 3s
FIRST TIME SUCCESS
Ewing will try and join the last two Hoya coaches to win their first NCAA Tournament games at Georgetown. In fact both Craig Esherick (2001) and John Thompson III (2006) took the Hoyas to the Sweet 16 in their first appearances with Georgetown. What about John Thompson Jr you ask? Well, Georgetown dropped a heartbreaker to Central Michigan in his first appearance back in 1975.
Just in case you were wondering, Georgetown’s last starters in an NCAA Tournament game were, I’m here to help. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, LJ Peak, Jabril Trawick, Isaac Copeland, and Joshua Smith were your starters against the Utes. The Hoyas led by as many as 11 in the first half but fell to a Utah team that featured 3-future and still current NBAers.
HOME AT HINKLE
Georgetown is 6-2 on Butler’s homecourt since the Bulldogs joined the BIG EAST for the 2014 season, including three ranked victories. The Hoyas had a 4-game winning streak snapped there this season. Sources tell me that DSR, Jagan Mosely, and Greg Malinowski and possibly other former Hoyas will be in attendance on Saturday.
Historically Georgetown has been a good team in first round games by going 18-7. ....Twice before Georgetown has entered as a double-digit seed. In 1997 the 10th seeded Hoyas lost in the first round to Charlotte. In 2001 the 10th seeded Hoyas beat Arkansas and 15th seeded Hampton to get into the Sweet 16 before falling to Maryland....Hoyas are 6-1 since moving Blair to the bench...The Hoyas are just 1-7 when trailing at the break....
Hoyas 65, Colorado 60
It will come down to the wire but Georgetown will advance to Monday’s second round.
Leave your witty (and non-witty) in-game comments here!