Georgetown's Epic Collapse

Brett GellmanCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2009

While we're on the cusp of Selection Sunday, one DC area team will be notably absent from the field of 65. 

It's amazing, given the disparity of the teams in the Washington region, that one team that clearly should've been in the tournament will not hear their name called tonight while another program that originally had no business being in there somehow managed to find a way.

The Georgetown Hoyas, who had reached the Final Four just two years ago, will be left out of this year's NCAA Tournament after compiling a 16-14 record and 7-11 in the Big East Conference.

How in the world did this happen?  It wasn't long ago that Georgetown was ranked one of the top teams in the country, climbing as high as No. 8 in the Coaches Poll.

The team, which has been very successful in recruiting talent in the DC area, was comprised of highly touted recruits and was able to gain a commitment from the country's top power forward prospect last year, Greg Monroe.

Georgetown started out the gate strongly and won 10 out of their 11 games early in the season.  The Hoyas routed local rival Maryland in the Old Spice Classic by nearly 30 points and defeated Memphis in an overtime thriller.  Wins over Big East rivals UConn and Syracuse convinced Hoya Nation that they'd be dancing deeply into the tournament when March rolled around.

Unfortunately, no one could've predicted how poorly January and February would treat the Hoyas.

Beginning with a road loss at Duke, Georgetown managed to lose 10 out of its last 13 games in the regular season, three of which were decided in overtime.  While some losses were against tourney-bound teams, a fair portion of them were to programs Georgetown had no business losing to.

None hurt more than their regular season finale road loss at St. John's, which clearly ended any hope for the Hoyas returning the dance sans winning the Big East title.

Prior to the crushing defeat at St. John's, the Hoyas barely managed to stay on the bubble because they played the nation's hardest schedule.  That proved to be an invalid argument after Georgetown fell once again to the Red Storm just one week later in the opening round of the Big East Tournament.

Throughout all of this, the blame clearly lays on Head Coach John Thompson III.  They're one of the most talented teams in the Big East, but players can only take you so far; just ask Roy Williams.

While many thought a storm was brewing in nearby College Park, it's now the Hilltop that should head to the observatory.  One recruit has already decommitted from the Hoyas and team chemistry isn't great at the moment.

Georgetown will now have to wait until next year to return to the Dance while they ruminate how a season that started off so well ended so poorly.