Georgetown Looks to Avoid Upset to Eastern Washington


The first few games of the second round of the NCAA Tournament were nothing but spectacular, with upsets happening left and right.

As Thursday’s games wrap up, the Georgetown Hoyas will be looking to avoid the common upset that has plagued so many top teams already (Iowa State, Baylor, SMU and VCU).

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Just as Thursday’s games have had “upset” written all over them, recent NCAA Tournament memory for Georgetown has the same label. It was only two years ago that the Hoyas, ranked as a No. 2 seed, were upset by the 15-seeded Florida Gulf Coast, 78-68.

On Thursday, the Hoyas will face an Eastern Washington team whose head coach, Jim Hayford, already guaranteed a victory for his Eagles. And he’s not the only one.

Many basketball pundits have picked Eastern Washington to upset Georgetown for one main reason: offense.

Eastern Washington is third in the entire NCAA in points per game, scoring an astounding 81 points per game. The Eagles are led by Tyler Harvey, who 22.9 points per game on 47 percent shooting from the floor. His three-point shot is also more than efficient, as he has made 42.8 percent of his three-point attempts on the season. He’s also shooting 85 percent from the charity stripe.

To put it simply, Harvey simply puts the ball in the basket.

And as a team, Eastern Washington makes nearly half of its shots (48 percent to be exact).

Georgetown’s offense scores 10 points less per game than Eastern Washington (70.7) and they only shoot a few percentage points less than Eastern Washington at 45.5 percent.

While nobody on Georgetown routinely puts up the numbers that Harvey does for Eastern Washington, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera leads the Hoyas with 16.2 points per game.

One advantage that Georgetown has is its team defense. The Hoyas hold their opponents to 64.4 points per game, which ranked third in the Big East.

Georgetown also has an advantage when it comes to the quality of competition that it has faced this season. The Hoyas have played a ranked opponent six times this season, and have walked away with wins in half of those games.

In the beginning of the season, Georgetown beat the then-No.18 Florida Gators before falling by two the next day to Wisconsin, a No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament. Georgetown then fell by just five points to then-No. 10 Kansas in the beginning of December.

A little over a month later, the Hoyas crushed Villanova by 20, before ultimately falling in a rematch in February. And Georgetown’s final win against a ranked opponent was March 3, when the Hoyas defeated the then-No. 21 Butler Bulldogs on the road, 60-54.

On the other hand, Eastern Washington only played two ranked opponents – SMU and Washington – and lost both of those games.

But it’s March and anything goes in college basketball at this time of the year. Hoya fans just hope it goes their way this time, unlike the recent trend of games to start this year’s tournament.

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