Georgetown vs. UConn: Hoyas Defense Will Dominate the Huskies

Nick JuskewyczContributor IIIFebruary 27, 2013

SYRACUSE, NY - FEBRUARY 23: Moses Ayegba #32, Otto Porter Jr. #22 and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera #4 of the Georgetown Hoyas celebrate their win over the Syracuse Orange during the game at the Carrier Dome on February 23, 2013 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Nate Shron/Getty Images)
Nate Shron/Getty Images

The Georgetown Hoyas are red hot. They have won nine straight and have only averaged giving up 54.5 points a game during that stretch.

With only two weeks left in the regular season, the best team in the Big East will show its tenacious defense once again at the XL Center against UConn. 

Georgetown's season was in serious jeopardy in January. The Hoyas were blown out by Pittsburgh. Greg Whittington was ruled academically ineligible (per Jeff Borzello of CBS Sports). Then they were embarrassed in a 61-58 loss to South Florida.

Since then, the Hoyas ran off nine-straight wins, including four Top 25 teams and three of which are currently ranked in the RPI Top 20.

According to Jason Reid of The Washington Post, John Thompson III says that defense has been the primary reason for the Hoyas to win games.

Marquette and Pittsburgh have been the only Big East teams to shoot over 40 percent against Georgetown.

Unless the Hoyas are in foul trouble, they only go seven players deep. However, this Georgetown team has been outstanding at controlling the tempo both at home and on the road. 

On the offensive end, Georgetown's 65 points a game (238th in NCAA) appears to be troubling by itself, but not when it comes on 46.1 percent shooting (53rd). The Hoyas half-court offense has been tremendous, and that mainly has to do with the scoring ability of Otto Porter Jr. 

Georgetown struggled offensively in its last game against Syracuse by only shooting 35.2 percent from the floor and putting up 57 points. However, Porter Jr. put the team on his back, posted 33 points on shooting 12-of-19 and constantly killed any run the Orange attempted to make.

The UConn Huskies meanwhile have been inconsistent to say the least. They have impressive wins at Notre Dame and at home against Syracuse, but they also lost at home to Villanova and struggled to close out South Florida in Storrs-Mansfield as well. 

This also isn't a good matchup for the Huskies. Connecticut wants to play at a faster pace and thrives in transition baskets that allows them to shoot its season average of 45.4 percent. With the exception of the Indiana game back in November, Georgetown hasn't allowed that to happen for the most part all season.

Another key for tonight will be how teams respond to runs. While Georgetown is heading to Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament and eventually the NCAA tournament, UConn will end its season in 10 days because of postseason APR ineligibility. If Porter Jr. starts making plays in the second half, does UConn fold or fight back?

A win for Georgetown tonight would put the Hoyas one step closer to a Big East regular-season title, an accomplishment they haven't achieved since the 2007-08 season.

Not only that, a win tonight would give the Hoyas another RPI Top 50 win for their resume. That would give Georgetown a total of 11 wins inside the RPI Top 100 with only one loss outside of it. That is a recipe for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

The Hoyas get the win.