Game 13: Georgetown Hoyas (7-5, 0-1) at No. 6 Marquette Golden Eagles (9-3, 0-1)
When: Friday 7 PM
Where: Fiserv Forum (Milwaukee)
TV: FS1 (Jeff Levering and LaPhonso Ellis)
Radio: 99.1 FM, Sirius XM 385 (The legendary Rich Chvotkin/50th season)
Series: Marquette leads 21-14, Hoyas are 4-12 on the road in this matchup
Last Meeting: Marquette beat Georgetown 89-75 in DC on Feb. 11, 2023
KenPom rankings: Marquette 15, Georgetown 178
KenPom Projection: Marquette wins 85-66. Golden Eagles with a 96% win probability.
Line: Hoyas +17, o/u 151, Georgetown ML +1100
What’s At Stake: Georgetown has the opportunity to win as the largest underdog in program history since at least 1998 (I can’t find data going back further.)
A Few Words: Winning at Notre Dame was the bare minimum for this season-long three-game road-trip and the Hoyas got the job done. Imagine how we’d all have felt about losing a close game at Notre Dame and then watching The Citadel go into South Bend and win comfortably by 20? Luckily that’s not a thing anyone had to deal with. Stealing a game at your conference home away from home in Hinkle Fieldhouse was the Hoyas most realistic shot at going 2-1 but stranger things have happened. Ok, moving right along.
Georgetown has really improved it’s 3-point defense since last season going from 357th to 36th on KenPom. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Hoyas allow a ton of points in the paint. Like, a lot. It seems like the best fix to provide some relief would be for the offense to cut down on turnovers. Coach Ed Cooley says a lot of things similar to his predecessor in that the players have to want to do improve their defense.
Tall Task: Since 1998, Georgetown is 0-11 straight up when playing as a 15-point dog or greater. Seven of those games have come over the last two seasons. The Hoyas have gone 5-6 ATS but have kept the margin to single digits just once when they lost 74-66 at Villanova on Feb. 22, 2022. Hoyas came into that game +19.5.
On the Golden Eagles: Shaka Smart has his team thinking Final Four this season, no doubt. Smart’s been there before with VCU in 2011 but that’s also the last time he took a team past the first weekend. Tyler Kolek is one of the more dynamic players in the country running the show and Oso Ighodaro looks like a future pro. Both will have decisions to make at the end of the year about using their covid year if they want. Ighodaro is one of the better examples in the country of a player improving without leaving for the portal. I should also mention that Marquette got run out of the building in Providence on Tuesday so there’s no chance Georgetown catches them sleeping.
Note: For people asking why I use the twitter posts from the opposing teams, it’s because the other teams have posted about the game when I’m working on this preview/game thread.
OK, this is the place to leave your insightful comments....starting now!