The Georgetown Hoyas were honored by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee Sunday night with a 2 seed, putting them in the list of top eight teams in the country. The night was not a stressful one by any means for the Hoya faithful, as nothing more than whether or not Georgetown received a 2 or 3 seed was at stake after their loss to Syracuse in the Big East Tournament on Friday all but ended any hope of a 1 seed. However, being given the same seeding as powerhouses Duke, Miami, and Ohio State should be taken as a strong vote of confidence by the college basketball community.
Mar 15, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Georgetown Hoyas mascot performs against the Syracuse Orange during the first half of a semifinal game of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports
And the Hoyas have every reason to feel confident about their chances to make a deep tournament run after looking at their side of the bracket. The first game, which is at a to-be-determined time on Friday in Philadelphia, is against Florida Gulf Coast University, a team that snuck into March Madness after beating Mercer in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship game as a two-seed in that tournament. Georgetown nay-sayers, famous for their doom-and-gloom outlook after the Hoyas have lost in the first or second round to teams ranked no better than a 10 seed four times since 2008, will be quick to point out that the FGCU Ospreys beat Miami, also a 2 seed, earlier in the season. But that was to a unranked Miami team in their second game of the season, not to a proven team coming off of a 13-2 streak like Georgetown.A win in the first round would set up a game against either 7 seed San Diego State, a team that went 22-10 on the season, or 10 seed Oklahoma, which went 20-11 this year. San Diego State is ranked 125th in offensive production, a factor that doesn’t bode well against a stifling defense like Georgetown’s, and had only one win over a team ranked in the top 25. Oklahoma likewise can only brag about finishing 5th in the Big 12 with one win against a top 25 team on their record. Straight up mediocrity in the competition seems to be the Selection Committee’s way of showing love to a Georgetown team looking to have an easy weekend in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Sweet 16 brings a probably match-up with 3rd seeded Florida, a team ranked 13th in the nation in the AP Poll, but also one that got to feast on SEC competition all year. That’s a major conference with only two teams headed to the Big Dance. The other possibility would be 6 seed UCLA, a Pac-10 team ranked 21st in the nation in the AP Poll which boasts four wins over ranked teams, including three over Arizona. However, the Hoyas already beat them 78-70 last November and seemed more poised than a Bruins team that suffered losses to Cal Poly, Washington State, and USC, the latter two of which were well under .500.
The top half of the bracket, should the Elite 8 be calling Georgetown’s name two weekends from now, contains top-seeded Kansas, 4 seed Michigan, and 5 seed VCU. Kansas has a formidable 29-5 record with five wins over top 25 teams and a Big 12 Championship under their belt. Michigan was recently ranked 6th by the AP Poll, but was only given a 4 seed due to a loss to Wisconsin in the Big 10 Tournament and a 4-5 record against other ranked teams that is nothing special. VCU is famous for their unexpected March success after a run to the Final Four as an 11 seed in 2011, a year in which they coincidentally upset Georgetown in the first round. However, for Hoya fans, the most noticeable name in the top half of the bracket is hated rival Villanova, which holds the 9 seed. It would require a few upsets, but a Big East showdown to get to the Final Four would be a guaranteed thriller.
The only noticeable snub for Georgetown is that the committe didn’t put them in the East Region, where they could have played Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games at home at the Verizon Center. This home court advantage was awarded to Louisville, New Mexico State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, and Kansas in the first two rounds. However, no other team was given a potential home match-up in the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, with Indiana also not being placed in the Indianapolis bracket, so Hoya fans can be content with watching from home or traveling to Texas, should the occasion arise. And it looks like the Selection Committee agrees that it probably should.