It's that time of year again: March Madness!
The brackets have been out for a few days and the speculation over who will be this year's Cinderellas, studs and duds will be.
Teams like Belmont, Gonzaga and Georgia have been named as potential Cinderellas. The common opinion has Kansas, Ohio State and Connecticut as the studs. The popular prospective duds are teams like Texas, BYU and San Diego State.
Georgetown falls into the third category this year and here's why.
Lets face it. Whenever we are watching a game on TV, especially in the tournament, we are always pulling for the underdog. When Georgetown travels to the United Center, the Chicago natives will undoubtedly root for VCU. It's just human nature.
Georgetown is not feeling so good about themselves as it is with their recent struggles, so you could expect the crowd to be a factor against the Hoyas.
The Hoyas will have a difficult time with their first-round match-up against VCU. If they escape that game, things will not get any easier. In fact, they will be squaring off against Purdue, barring a huge upset by my St. Peter's Peacocks.
The Hoyas are out of sync and playing a major Final Four contender in Purdue will not help matters. If Georgetown does get this match-up, they will be the Boilermakers' warm-up dummies for the next round. I just don't see this sluggish Georgetown team giving Purdue a run for their money.
With the expanded NCAA Tournament field comes four play-in games. Unfortunately for Georgetown, they will face the winner of the play-in game for the 11-seed, VCU.
Something people seem to overlook is the fact that the winner of this game will have momentum from that first victory when they face their second opponent. While this is not a factor by a 16-seed, this definitely has an impact on the play-in winners for a 12 and 11 seed. The match-up will be difficult enough for the Hoyas to handle, but adding another win under the belt of their opponent only furthers the difficulty for Georgetown.
Chris Wright, Austin Freeman, Jason Clark, Hollis Thompson and Julian Vaughn. These five currently start for the Georgetown Hoyas. These five are also the only formidable players on the Hoyas.
One key problem with this year's Hoyas is that they lack any bench. Sure, Nate Lubick is a nice player to come in for a few minutes a game, but he's not someone who should be getting close to 20 minutes per contest. If Georgetown gets into foul trouble, you might as well put them in the losing column since their bench will certainly not produce good basketball. In all honesty, is Henry Sims or Vee Sanford going to intimidate any tournament team? I don't think so.
Sorry Hoyas fans, but Georgetown needs someone to step up big time for them to make any noise in this year's big dance.
Georgetown dropped five of their final six games, with their only win over lowly South Florida. In their losses, they were averaging double-digit margins. These recent woes can be attributed to the absence of their catalyst, Chris Wright. Ever since his injury, the Hoyas have been sub-par to say the least.
Although they do get Chris Wright back, Georgetown still has nothing to build on going into the big dance. Basically, they have been the Anti-U-Conn. While the Hoyas have lost five of six and are now being picked to lose in the first round, U-Conn reeled off five straight wins, including a Big East Championship and are now Final Four contenders. The final stretch is most definitely the most important for any team looking to make a run deep into March.
Unfortunately for the Hoyas, they haven't won a game in nearly a month, so their chances this March aren't looking to bright.
Georgetown has had that go-to big man in the past. It's part of Hoya basketball. Though, this year, Georgetown has no inside presence like that of Greg Monroe or Roy Hibbert. While they do have solid guard play, their lack of any true threat in the paint will make it easier for defenses to shut down the one-dimensional Georgetown offense.
Kemba Walker, Jimmer Fredette, Nolan Smith, Ben Hansbrough and Harrison Barnes. These are just five of the many closers in college basketball team. Virtually every good team has one of them. This "closer" can take over a game whenever their team needs him to.
In my humble opinion, Georgetown does not have the proverbial "closer" that many great teams do have. Austin Freeman can take his man off the dribble once in a while and Chris Wright can take advantage of an open lane, but no one on the Hoya roster embodies one who can take over a game.
In their first game of the tournament, Goergetown will most likely be in a close, hard-fought battle. In this type of grind-it-out game, a closer is essential. I simply don't trust any Hoya player to have the ball in pressure situations.
Much to the dismay of Hoya-nation, I'm going to have to call out John Thompson III. While he has had success at the helm of the Georgetown program, it came mostly due to his inheritance of a school that was already towards the top of college basketball (talk about nepotism).
While he has been mildly successful, Thompson seems to underperform every year, considering the talent that he gets in recruiting. And when it comes to March, forget about it. In his six years as the head man at Georgetown, Thompson III's Hoyas has been to two NIT's (and did not finish above seventh in either) and four NCAA tournaments. Outside of one Final Four run, Thompson's Hoyas have not advanced past the Sweet 16.
Basically, when it matters, John Thompson III is as lousy a coach as you can get.
As I stated in the previous slide, the Hoyas have been sub-par in March in recent years. Simply, they are choke-artists.
In 2009, they entered the big dance as a 2-seed. They beat their first round opponent, but they lost in the second round to Davidson. Last year, they reached new lows. They had a very good regular season to earn a 3-seed, and they faced 14-seeded Ohio. They lost to the lowly Bobcats by double-digits and once again choked in March.
I don't think this team is any better than the Georgetown squads of the past two years, which does not bode well for the upset-susceptible Hoyas.
Okay, Chris Wright may be back. But it's less then a month ago that he injured his hand and had surgery. He still has pins in his hand from the surgery.
Although he is going to play for the Hoyas, I don't see him competing at full health. It will hurt his hand to do the simplest of tasks in basketball, such as dribble or catch a pass. That may be too unbearable for Wright to endure for a long stretch, so he may have to be subbed out early and often for one of their sub-par bench players.
At full strength, Chris Wright is as solid a point guard as you will see in college basketball, but he will be playing hurt, so the Hoyas will be at a big disadvantage going into the tournament.