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Georgetown Basketball: March 2006 News Archive

Bowman To Appear At All Star Game 3/30/06

Senior forward Brandon Bowman has been invited to the annual NABC All-Star Game at this year's Final Four, where he will compete on a senior all-star team playing friday night at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Jackson Advances To CBA Final 3/28/06

Two years removed from the Georgetown bench, former assistant coach Jaren Jackson (B'89) has enjoyed a fine run as a coach in the CBA. A first year coach with the Gary Steelheads, Jackson was named CBA coach of the year and the Steelheads advanced to the league final, where they lost Monday night 111-101 to the Yakima (WA) Sun Kings. Coverage follows in this link to the Gary Post-Tribune.

Wash. Times Discusses Florida Finish 3/27/06

Sunday's Washington Times looks back on the season ending loss to Florida.

"I couldn't have bought a better shot for a million dollars," said a disappointed Darrel Owens, whose three point shot with nine seconds left marked the Hoyas' best chance at taking the lead. "You've seen me bang that one a million times in practice, and it felt good even after it left my hand. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. I know this hurt is going to stay with me for the rest of my life."

Owens sees a brighter future for the team in 2006-07.

"To be part of a Sweet 16 with these guys was special," he said. "But when I look around the room and see the guys coming back and think about the talent coming in, whoa, the Sweet 16 is going to be nothing for these guys down the line. I see them winning a national championship, because there are so many underclassmen on this team who know what it takes to win."

ESPN And The 1985 Final Four 3/27/06

ESPN will be presenting a look back at the 1985 Final Four on March 28 at 9:00 pm, titled "Top 5 Reasons You Canít Blame Georgetown for Losing to Villanova in the 1985 NCAA Final."

In reality, the 1985 final was not the colossal upset that newspapers and other media proclaimed it to be. There are bigger surprises out there (Chaminade-Virginia was in 1982, for one, or even George Mason-Connecticut, for that matter) but one reason often gets overlooked: familiarity.

Villanova had defeated Georgetown in each of the prior two seasons, and narrowly missed a third win in a 52-50 loss at the Spectrum in January of that year. The press played up Massimino's underdog angle, but the numbers suggest otherwise.

Statistical Wrap-Up 3/27/06

At season's end, a review of the season from the final statistics points out some interesting items.

  • Scoring: Scoring was up 3.1 points per game from 2005, while points allowed fell 2.2 points. With scoring evenly matched among the starters, Jeff Green won the scoring title with an 11.9 ppg average.
  • Field Goal Shooting: The Hoyas continue to excel in this category, increasing from 45.2% in 2005 to 46.8% in 2006, the best shooting mark since 1995-96.
  • Three Point Shooting: In comparison with 2005, this category was down in goals (223, down from 242),  attempts (628, down from 690), and percentage (35.5%, down from 36.5%). The decline could be seen in the final games of the season, where Georgetown shot only 32.1% from three in March, and only 29.6% in NCAA games.
  • Free Throw Shooting: Darrel Owens' 85% shooting led the Hoyas to a 70.6% average, up slightly from 2005.
  • Rebounding: Roy Hibbert led the Hoyas with 6.9 boards per game. Overall, the Hoyas collected 32.7 rebounds per game, up slightly from 31.2 in 2005.
  • Assists: Jeff Green became the first Georgetown forward ever to lead his team in assists two consecutive years, with 108 assists to add to his 93 from last season.
  • Fouls: Maybe one of the most underreported stats in 2006 was fouls, or the lack thereof. The Hoyas' 486 total fouls were the lowest since the 1978-79 season, and by average was the lowest in the Big East era. Only six foul-outs were committed all season, tied for the fewest since 1976.
  • Steals: Darrel Owens led the team with 37 steals but the team collected only 199, down from 218 last season.
  • Blocks: Roy Hibbert led the Hoyas with 54 of the team's 119 blocks, down from 148 last season.
  • Career Totals: Brandon Bowman ended his Georgetown career 12th in all time scoring (1,548), and 10th in rebounding (739). Ashanti Cook ended 31st in scoring (1,057) and 16th in assists (257). Darrel Owens narrowly missed the top 50 scorers, finishing with 802 points.

Here are the final player totals for points, rebounds, and assists:

Player Points Rebounds Assists
Green 11.9 6.5 3.3
Hibbert 11.6 6.9 1.3
Bowman 11.0 5.0 1.8
Cook 10.2 2.5 2.5
Owens 8.2 2.8 2.2
Wallace 7.9 2.4 3.2
Sapp 2.8 1.9 0.6
Spann 1.8 1.5 0.1
Thornton 1.7 0.5 0.0
Egerson 1.6 1.7 0.4
Kilkenny-Diaw 0.9 0.3 0.2
Beal 0.7 0.0 0.0
Dizdarevic 0.6 0.6 0.7
Izzo 0.5 0.0 0.0
Crawford 0.4 0.6 0.1
Total 66.0 32.7 15.6
Here's how GU finished among 16 Big East schools in each category:
  All Games Big East
Scoring 13th 14th
Scoring Defense 1st 1st
Field Goal % 2nd 3rd
Three Point % 6th 5th
Free Throw % 9th 5th
Rebounds 15th 15th
Rebound Margin 4th 4th
Assists 5th 5th
Steals 12th 10th
Blocks 11th 14th
Efficiency Ratings 3/27/06

How did individual players fare this season? One efficiency measurement is points per field goal attempt:

  Points Per FG Attempt 2004-05
Hibbert 1.85 1.17
Owens 1.36 1.34
Egerson 1.22
Green 1.17 1.65
Bowman 1.16 1.41
Wallace 1.15 1.17
Cook 1.15 1.12
Thornton 1.11
Spann 1.10
Sapp 0.99
Dizdarevic 0.80 1.56
Crawford 0.62 1.19
Walk-ons (limited attempts skewing statistics)
Beal 1.33 0.00
Kilkenny-Diaw 1.23 1.06
Izzo 1.00 1.00

A more detailed statistic is points per possession, defined as the sum of total shots - offensive rebounds + possessions that end in a turnover. The ratings follow below:

  Points Per Possession 2004-05
Hibbert 1.52 1.16
Thornton 1.43
Owens 1.36 1.36
Cook 1.33 1.12
Wallace 1.30 0.95
Bowman 1.26 1.32
Green 1.22 1.70
Spann 1.22
Egerson 1.03 0.97
Sapp 1.01
Dizdarevic 0.80 1.56
Crawford 0.57 1.19
Walk-ons (limited attempts skewing statistics)
Beal 2.00 0.00
Kilkenny-Diaw 1.23 1.13
Izzo 1.00 1.00

Overall, the 2004-05 Hoyas averaged 1.27 points per possession, up from 1.22 in 2004-05. In fact, as noted earlier in the season, the Hoyas' record has a strong correlation to its points per possession versus opponents. In games where it had a higher points per possession total than its opponents, Georgetown was 23-1--the Big East final versus Syracuse game was the only game in the last two seasons where Georgetown led on points per possession and lost. In games where it trailed on points per possession, Georgetown was 0-9.

Opponent Score Hoyas Opp. Diff.
at Navy 72-49 1.29 0.91 +0.38
at J. Madison 73-66 1.40 1.14 +0.26
Vanderbilt 61-68 1.11 1.36 (0.25)
at Oregon 71-57 1.39 1.04 +0.35
at Illinois 48-58 0.94 1.14 (0.20)
Fairfield 76-51 1.52 0.91 +0.61
Stetson 70-50 1.37 0.98 +0.39
Savannah St. 78-49 1.56 0.82 +0.74
vs. Colgate 61-45 1.30 0.87 +0.43
at UTEP 76-64 1.36 1.16 +0.20
Providence 72-62 1.22 0.94 +0.28
at St. John's 79-65 1.68 1.23 +0.45
at W. Virginia 61-68 1.09 1.28 (0.19)
at Connecticut 67-74 1.08 1.32 (0.24)
S. Florida 50-47 1.00 0.89 +0.11
Duke 87-84 1.45 1.33 +0.12
at Notre Dame 85-82 1.47 1.34 +0.12
Cincinnati 76-57 1.49 1.21 +0.28
at DePaul 64-44 1.52 0.85 +0.43
Pitt 61-58 1.17 1.05 +0.12
St. John's 64-41 1.39 0.79 +0.60
W. Virginia 56-69 1.17 1.25 (0.08)
at Marquette 51-57 0.89 1.08 (0.18)
at Villanova 65-75 1.35 1.53 (0.18)
Rutgers 66-50 1.29 1.09 +0.20
Syracuse 68-53 1.55 1.04 +0.51
at S. Florida 56-63 1.24 1.24 (0.00)
vs. Notre Dame 67-63 1.22 1.19 +0.03
vs. Marquette 62-59 1.35 1.13 +0.22
vs. Syracuse 57-58 1.19 1.16 +0.03
vs. N. Iowa 54-49 1.13 1.04 +0.09
vs. Ohio State 70-52 1.30 0.93 +0.37
vs. Florida 53-57 0.98 1.16 (0.18)
Sapp's Sister Recovers In NY Hospital 3/25/06

Freshman Jessie Sapp played Friday's game under difficult circumstances, as his 13 year old sister was one of two 13 year olds recovering in a hospital after being shot outside a New York playground Thursday evening.

"She's strong. She's doing well. She's recovering," said her father, "She's in good spirits." A 16 year old has been charged in the case.

Police commissioner Ray Kelly noted that "We believe they were just innocent bystanders. [The suspect] came back apparently in a fit of rage and fired and struck these two teenagers. They had no involvement in the previous dispute."

Additional details follow in the links below

Florida 57, Georgetown 53 3/25/06 12:45 am

"We were very, very fortunate to win. It could have gone either way."
--Florida coach Billy Donovan

"We got the shot we wanted for the guy we wanted, a shot he makes probably eight out of 10 times, and it didn't go in. That's the breaks."
--Georgetown coach John Thompson III

A Corey Brewer fall-away basket with 27 seconds left steered the University of Florida to the NCAA regional final in a closely fought 57-53 win over Georgetown Friday night.

Georgetown opened up strong in the game, outscoring Florida 15-5 to lead by as many as nine at 21-12 . Georgetown's outside shooting, which eluded them all night, was helped by a half dozen offensive rebounds, allowing GU six field goals in an eight possession run.

Florida's defense and three GU turnovers gave the Gators a chance to crawl back in, resulting in a 16-5 first half run to give UF a 28-26 lead, but the Hoyas answered with the final four points of the half and a 30-28 lead at the break.

Georgetown's second half was dictated early, where some cheap fouls helped boost the Gators to a 36-30 lead, but Georgetown was able to tie the score at 42 midway in the half. Neither team could build much of a lead down the stretch, but the Hoyas were able to take a 51-49 lead on a Brandon Bowman drive with 3:22 to play, answered with a Florida three, 52-51.

Ashanti Cook, held scoreless in the second half after ten points in the first, scored with 1:50 to play, 53-52. The game turned in the final minute when Corey Brewer, thought to be tied up on a loose ball, took a shot while falling to the ground and it went in, scoring up the basket and picking up a foul shot, 55-53.

The Hoyas inbounded with 19 seconds to play, then called a time out with 13.3 to set up the play. With nine seconds to play, Darrel Owens missed an long but otherwise open three. On the subsequent foul Florida made the insurance free throws. Owens missed another three as time expired.

Four of the five Georgetown starters finished in double figures. For the game, Georgetown shot 39% to Florida's 42%--it literally came down to the team with the last good shot.

Joakim Noah led the Gators with 15 points, matched by Jeff Green with 15 for the Hoyas.

Georgetown players were obviously disappointed by the close loss. "We came here to win," said sophomore Rob Hibbert. "We're not just satisfied at getting to the Sweet 16 or being in the tournament. We're here to win."

"Bad things happen sometimes," said Owens about the last minute finish, but "I can't look back. I have to be proud of the year we had."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

         MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wallace   31   0-1   1-4   0-0   4  2   1    3 
Cook      35   2-3   2-5   2-2   0  3   2   12
Bowman    33   5-11  0-4   0-1   7  1   3   10
Green     32   4-9   1-1   4-5   6  4   3   15
Hibbert   28   5-9   0-0   0-0   7  0   4   10
Owens     25   0-0   1-6   0-0   2  4   2    3
Sapp      16   0-0   0-1   0-0   5  1   1    0
Team Rebounds                    1
DNP: Izzo, Crawford, Thornton, Spann, Egerson,
Beal, Kilkenny-Diaw, Dizdarevic
TOTALS   200  16-33 5-21  6-8   32 15  16   53 

Post-game articles follow. Because the late finish of the game, many other newspapers did not post a full account in Saturday's editions, relying on the Associated Press coverage.

NY Times Profiles Victor Page 3/24/06

Off the NCAA regional beat, the New York Times looks back at the life and times of Victor Page (ex'99), whose life before and after college has been a series of struggles. Ten years ago this week, Page was the starting guard on the 1996 Elite 8 team that lost to #1 UMass.

Page left Georgetown after his sophomore season with hopes of joining Allen Iverson in the NBA, but failed to do so. Stops in the minor leagues, legal trouble, and a 2003 drive-by shooting that cost him his right eye are just part of the story.

"I don't regret nothing I did in the past," said Page on the attempt to go pro. "My mother was deceased, my father was deceased, and we were struggling. We were living in a neighborhood where everything was a struggle. And I thought that I was the only one in the family that could get my family out of that situation."

Recommended reading.

Editorial: Past & Prologue 3/24/06

As the Georgetown community gathered in places far and wide to follow the Hoyas into the regionals today, a note of thanks to everyone who has been a part of this 99th year of Georgetown basketball--the coaches, players, support staff, athletic department officials, Hoya Blue...and a growing number of fans who have rallied behind the Blue and Gray all season. As noted earlier this week, it's not as important just for being "back" but where the program is headed.

Past surveys on this site indicate that only about 25-30% of HoyaSaxa.com readers are regular donors to Georgetown, and that number drops as more readers visit during the post-season. For those visitors to this site who want to stay better connected with the program, or perhaps reconnect with Georgetown after a number of years, today would be the day to consider a gift to Georgetown through the Hoya Hoop Club--not only in recognition of a great season, but a vote of support for the promise to come.

Donor gifts are critical at programs like Georgetown. GU will never have the spending power of a place like Florida, with its $77 million athletic budget. But as noted in a recent story from CNN.com, "only one major conference school in this year's tournament -- Big East's Georgetown -- reported a loss from its basketball program last year." For Georgetown to better compete at the highest levels, your donor support makes a big difference.

There's a strong correlation between the strength of support clubs at Georgetown and the strength of the University's institutional support. Programs like crew, football, and lacrosse have built a loyal donor base that gives the University confidence in investing in the future, and a growing donor base for the Hoop Club can speak volumes about where the Georgetown community wants basketball to go in the future.

Even a $25 gift at this point sends a message--a message of a tangible commitment to the future of basketball at Georgetown. If 100 new members joined in the final 100 days of the annual campaign, that tells a great story about what basketball has meant to readers like you...but more importantly, what it can mean going forward.

Visit the online link to make a gift, and stop by the Hoya Hoop Club pages to learn more. In the meantime, enjoy the game and be sure to let your friends and colleagues know that today we are Georgetown.

"Mr. Bracket" 3/24/06

Friday's Hanover Sun has a Georgetown basketball feature, but not on a player or coach. Instead, it's a profile on Hoya Blue's Mark Murphy, who is competing in an ESPN fan contest called "Mr. Bracket".

"It's a good time to show there is spirit at schools other than the one in Durham, North Carolina," said Murphy.

To check out Murphy's rankings in the poll, or to place a vote, visit ESPN.com.

Florida Pre-Game Articles Archived 3/24/06

The Sweet 16 brings a big...BIG jump in pre-game articles among the schools in the NCAA regional. In the interests of space, we are simply listing the links and inviting readers to visit the links for more information.

Associated Press : "Noah, Energetic Gators Hope To Push Pace" (3/24)
Birmingham News :"From Walk-on To Berth In Sweet 16" (3/24)
Daytona Beach N-J :"Odyssey Leads To Minnesota" (3/24)
Daytona Beach N-J : "Gators' Game About Tempo" (3/24)
Florida Alligator:"UF Will Play At Any Tempo" (3/24)
Florida Alligator :"From The Swamp To Snow" (3/24)
Florida Today :"Florida's Big Test" (3/24)
Florida Today :"Deep Bench Crucial To UF Success" (3/24)
Florida Today: :"Thompson Has Hoyas In The Hunt" (3/24)
Ft. Worth S-T :"Renaissance Man Learns On Streets" (3/24)
Ft. Lauderdale S-S :"Gators Pose Big Problem" (3/24)
Ft. Lauderdale S-S : "Gators Won't Tempt Fate" (3/24)
Gainesville Sun :"Taking Sweet To Elite" (3/24)
Gainesville Sun :"Hoyas Coach Wraps Himself In An Air Of Dignity" (3/24)
The HOYA:"Tournament Paying Off For Hoyas (3/24)
The HOYA:: Hoyas Prepare to Battle Gators... (3/24)
The HOYA: "Talented Foes Wait in Wings" (3/24)
The HOYA: "Cook Fighting His Way to the Final Round" (3/24)
The HOYA: "Don't Count Out Bowman Just Yet" (3/24)
Los Angeles Times : "L.A. Friends Find Home With Hoyas" (3/24)
MiamI Herald:"Gators In A Rush To Advance" (3/24)
Minneapolis S-T :"Toughness Runs In The Thompson Family" (3/24)
Minnesota Daily :"Dome Hosts An Eastern Hoops Celebration" (3/24)
New York Post:"Gators, Hoyas Think Big" (3/24)
Orlando Sentinel :"Noah Won't Rule Out Voodoo As Boost For UF (3/24)
Orlando Sentinel :"Don't Worry Gators Fans-Donovan Is Staying" (3/24)
Orlando Sentinel :"Hoyas Give Noah More Incentive" (3/24)
Palm Beach Post :"Tournament Heightens Draft Buzz Around Gators (3/24)
Palm Beach Post:: JT3's Civility Bucks Dad's Inflection (3/24)
Pensacola N-J: :"Gators Hope To Put Hoyas In Deep Freeze" (3/24)
Phila. Daily News : "Gators, Hoyas Surprising Experts" (3/24)
San Jose M-N:"Hibbert Has Come Long Way..." (3/24)
Seattle P-I :"Gators' Talent Pool May Dry Up" (3/24)
St. Paul Pioneer Press :"Carbon Copy" (3/24)
St. Petersburg Times :"A Pain Too Deep To Broadcast" (3/24)
Staunton N-L : "Hoya Dream Especially Sweet This Season" (3/24)
Tampa Tribune:Gators' Heart... (3/24)
Tampa Tribune:"Hoyas Center Trying To Measure Up..."(3/24)
Tampa Tribune:"Battling Through" (3/24)
USA Today :"Georgetown's Thompsons Still Their Own Men (3/24)
Washington Post :"Georgetown's Biggest Threat Isn't Just Tall" (3/24)
Washington Post :"Trajectory Of Noah's Arc (3/24)
Washington Post :"Georgetown vs. Florida Preview" (3/24)
Washington Times :"Hoyas' Big Goal: Be Pace Makers" (3/24)
Yahoo Sports :"A Tale Of Two Centers" (3/24)
Eugene R-G :"Early Duck Foe Impressive In Big Dance" (3/23)
Fox Sports: "Thompson III Learned From Two Hall of Famers" (3/23)
Florida Alligator: "Gators Juggle Commitments" (3/23)
Florida Today: "Confidence Grows For Young Gators" (3/23)
Florida Today: "Green's Confidence Has Florida Rolling" (3/23)
Gainesville Sun: "Donovan keeps UF In Right Frame Of Mind..." (3/23)
Gainesville Sun: "Influence And Success At Georgetown" (3/23)
Gainesville Sun : "S Is For Sweet 16" (3/23)
Georgetown Voice: "Hoya Hoops Good In Every Way" (3/23)
Miami Herald: "Unexpected Output" (3/23)
Orlando Sentinel: "Frontcourt Faces Formidable Foe" (3/23)
Palm Beach Post: "Miracles In March" (3/23)
Pensacola N-J: "Green Emerging As Leader" (3/23)
Pensacola N-J: "2006 Gators Trying To Play Like 2000...Team" (3/23)
Richmond T-D: "Hoyas' Hibbert On Steep Learning Curve" (3/23)
Tallahassee Democrat: "Florida Duo Clicks..." (3/23)
Tampa Tribune: "Paving The Way" (3/23)
Washington Post: "Princeton Offense Keeps Hoyas on the Move" (3/23)
Washington Times: "A Clash Of The Titans" (3/23)
Associated Press : "Thompson III Emerges From Father's Shadow "(3/22)
Chicago S-T: "John Thompson's Shadow Not Too Big For His Son" (3/22)
Florida Independent Alligator : "Georgetown's Loss, UF's Gain" (3/22)
Florida Today: "UF A Versatile Bunch" (3/22)
Florida Today: "Florida's Big Men Dominate The Paint" (3/22)
Ft. L. Sun-Sentinel: "Gators Rely On Green To Run The Show... " (3/22)
Ft. L. Sun-Sentinel: "Florida's Recipe For Success..." (3/22)
Ft. L. Sun-Sentinel: "Horford Excels At Florida..." (3/22)
Gainesville Sun: "Influence And Success At Georgetown" (3/22)
Gainesville Sun: "Gators Have Learned Well From Losses" (3/22)
Gainesville Sun: "Noah's Star On The Rise" (3/22)
Huntsville Times:"D.C.'s Top Senator" (3/22)
MSNBC : "Time To Get Back On Gatorsí Bandwagon" (3/22)
Hoya Report.com: "Look Out Hoyas, Noah Is Out For Revenge (3/22)
Houston Chron.: "Familiar Name Has Georgetown Winning Again" (3/22)
Minneapolis S-T: "Minneapolis Will Have Big East Flavor (3/22)
Montgomery (MD) Gazette : "Locals Enjoy A Sweet Ride To NCAA's" (3/22)
Palm Beach Post : "Georgetown Center's Game Continues To Grow" (3/22)
Tallahassee Democrat: "Gators' Youth Doesn't Seem To Hurt Them" (3/22)
Tampa Tribune: "Noah Featured On Cover Of Sports Illustrated" (3/22)
Washington Post : "In the Shadows, Hoyas Drive On" (3/22)
Washington Times : "Hoyas Turnaround Just Getting Started" (3/22)
Daytona Beach News Journal : Noah Wants Revenge Vs. Hoyas (3/21)
Florida Independent Alligator : "Donovan Explains Past Flops (3/21)
Florida Today : Noah's Revenge: G'town (3/21)
Florida Today : "Gators Face Tall Task In Hoyas" (3/21)
Gainesville Sun : "Battle Of The (Really) Bigs" (3/21)
Miami Herald : "A Balancing Act For Gators" (3/21)
Miami Herald : : "Jilted Noah Looking For Payback" (3/21)
New York Times : "Young Team a Surprise to Florida Coach, Too " (3/21)
New York Post : "Sweet Smell of Success" (3/21)
Palm Beach Post: "Gators' Noah Primed To Punish Hoyas" (3/21)
Sarasota Herald-Tribune : "Hot Team Eyes Cold Trip" (3/21)
Tallahassee Democrat: "Noah Motivated By Georgetown Snub" (3/21)
USA Today: "Florida's Noah Taking Bigger Bite Out Of Foes" (3/21)
Washington Post : "Father Remains A Figure" (3/21)

ESPN, Big East Extending TV Contract 3/21/06

The Hartford Courant reports that the Big East conference and ESPN are close to a multi-year extension of its TV contract that would commit to showing every Big East men's basketball game on one of ESPN's networks through the 2012-13 season, except those covered by CBS.

Tagliabue To Retire As NFL Commissioner 3/21/06

NFL commissioner and Georgetown basketball alumnus Paul Tagliabue (C'62) has announced his retirement, effective next July.

Tagliabue made the decision after completing the NFL's recent labor negotiations. "We have a collective bargaining extension in place, long-term television contracts, and have undertaken many other strong elements in league and club operations," he said in an NFL release. "I am honored to have been commissioner since late 1989 and to have been heavily involved with the league, its owners, clubs, coaches, players, fans and media since 1969."

Tagliabue, who succeeded Pete Rozelle as commissioner in 1989, brought unprecedented financial growth and stability to the NFL, in an era when other sports dealt with labor and revenue strife. NFL owners were quick to join the press in praising Tagliabue for his leadership during this era.

"Paul's legacy has been and will be expansion, which included markets and playing and coaching jobs, labor peace, revenue growth, stadium development, excellent competition levels on the field and extraordinary growth of player compensation," said Lamar Hunt, an original founder of the AFL and the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs.

"Bottom line, he oversaw the greatest period of growth in league history and was able to maintain labor peace at the same time, which to me was his greatest accomplishment," said San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos. "Both the owners and players as well as the fans are enjoying the rewards of his leadership."

March 19 In GU History 3/19/06

Some of Georgetown's most thrilling games in post-season play have come on March 19. Of the eight games played on this date, GU now is 6-2. Here is a sample of some of these memorable games:

  • March 19, 1978: In 1978, the Hoyas stood on the brink of their first NIT final, leading 85-84 in overtime. Forty feet from the goal, North carolina State's Clyde Austin sends up a last second shot to beat the Hoyas 86-85.
  • March 19, 1982: In a late night NCAA West regional game, the Hoyas held off a 27-2 Fresno State in a 58-40 final, setting an NCAA regional record for field goal shooting (64%) that had stood since 1966. Two days later, the Hoyas broke that very record, shooting 74% against Oregon State in the regional final that broke all tournament shooting records.
  • March 19, 1983: In the only year Patrick Ewing did not reach the Final Four, it took a 23 point, 15 rebound effort by Memphis State's Keith Lee to upset the Hoyas 66-57 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, KY. Ewing scored 24 points and nine rebounds, but Memphis shot 62% and outrebounded Georgetown 37-22 for the win.
  • March 19, 1988: Battling through a tough first round game with LSU, Jaren Jackson's 20 points led the Hoyas to a tie score with nine seconds left, but it was junior Charles Smith that made history. Smith got the inbounds but couldn't find any teammate with an open look to the basket. He launched a 30 footer that banked off the glass and gave Georgetown the win, 66-63.
  • March 19, 1995: The sixth-seeded Hoyas were struggling with #13 seed Weber State, which sought to become the fifth straight team to knock out Georgetown in the second round since 1990. With the score tied at 51, Weber State's Ruben Nembhard is fouled with eight seconds to go with a chance to take the lead at the like. Nembhard misses the front end of a one and one, and Allen Iverson races down the court for a last second score. Iverson's toss is short, but Don Reid grabs the sinking shot and lays it up at the buzzer to give Georgetown a 53-51 win. As the team mobs Reid on the court, Coach Thompson does an impromptu victory dance and the Hoyas advanced to the "Sweet 16" for the first time since 1989.
Georgetown 70, Ohio State 52 3/20/06

Two seasons ago, a quote attributed to CBS analyst Billy Packer read as follows: "I see no reason why Georgetown basketball can ever be as successful as it was. There's no evidence of that. I think they need a superstar. Why would a superstar go there?"

Ask Roy Hibbert. Or Jeff Green. Better yet, ask their coach.

John Thompson III served notice to the nation that Georgetown has returned to the national stage, with a surprising 70-52 upset of sixth ranked and second seeded Ohio State. The win sends the Hoyas to its tenth NCAA regional since 1980, and its first since 2001. Two years removed from a 13-15 season, Georgetown enjoyed its the largest margin of victory over a Top Ten ranked team in over ten years.

The Hoyas needed a quick start to quiet the thousands of Ohio State fans at the University of Dayton Arena, and got it--an Ashanti Cook three opened the scoring. The Buckeyes added six points quickly, but it was to be their only lead of the entire game, as Cook and Roy Hibbert went to work. Cook and Hibbert combined to score the first 18 points of the game as GU built an eight point lead midway in the half. When Jeff Green added a jumper with 9:35 to play, the Hoyas owned a double digit lead and had outscored the Buckeyes 17-4.

That the Buckeyes even stayed close was due in large part to the play of shooting guard Ja'Kel Foster. Foster had endured a horrid stretch of shooting late in the season where he had shot 9 for 59 from outside three point range. Foster went on a tear, hitting three three pointers and 11 points in a stretch that closed the Georgetown lead to 22-19. Georgetown answered with an Owens three, answering with an 11-2 Georgetown run over a three minute run to end the half. Ohio State's zone defense seemed ill-fitted for the Georgetown offensive sets, and the Buckeyes' offense settled for poorly executed long shots that gave Georgetown a healthy rebounding advantage early in the game. Cook and Hibbert combined for 22 of Georgetown's 38 points in a 13 point halftime lead, 38-25.

Ohio State opened the half with a new offensive gameplan, pushing the ball inside, and a defensive switch to a full court man to man defense. Early results were positive, as the Buckeyes cut the lead in half within the first six minutes, 43-36, with 14:54 to play. Georgetown started the half 2 for 8 as the OSU crowd rallied a second time. But for a second time, a Darrel Owens jumper quieted the crowd, and on its next series, a Jeff Green three put the Hoyas up by twelve, 48-36.

Ohio State power forward Terence Dials struggled to develop an offensive rhythm all day, but was able to work at the lead from the free throw line, connecting on six straight foul shots to keep the Buckeyes close. Georgetown's second half shooting had sank to 4 for 15, and when Cook missed a back door layup with 12 minutes to play and Ohio State connected on an easy layup, the lead was an uncomfortable eight and coach Thompson opted for a quick time out.

Off the timeout, Roy Hibbert missed a short shot, but grabbed the rebound and was fouled, connecting on both free throws. On its next series, the Hoyas bounced back again, with a Jeff Green jumper to go back up by 12, 52-40.

Dials went back to work for Ohio State, aided by defensive stops on Hibbert and Green in the Georgetown frontcourt. After Jamar Butler's three pointer closed the lead to 52-43, Dials scored on OSU's next two possessions to close to 54-48 with 5:11 to play. The crowd sensed a knockout approaching, but Georgetown answered the bell once again and instead sent the Buckeyes to the canvas.

Hibbert went inside for a basket, 56-48, then stopped Dials inside with 4:16 to play. Georgetown could not mount a scoring opportunity in its possession, and an OSU deflection took the ball out of bounds with five seconds on the shot clock and 3:46 to play. Before the play went in bounds, Ohio State was whistled for a foul off the ball, resetting the shot clock. On the next series, Hibbert picked up an offensive rebound off another shot clock reset, and Jeff Green slipped past the OSU defenders for a back door layup and foul shot which gave GU a 59-48 lead. Ohio State missed its next two shooting opportunities and fouled to stop the clock, which cashed in another four points from the Georgetown line, 63-48. By the time Ohio State picked up a basket with 2:16 to play, nearly three minutes had elapsed and its season had elapsed with it.

Down the stretch, Georgetown added up three more baskets and a pair of free throws in the final minutes as the now-empty Ohio State seats were powerless to prevent a cry from the upper deck of the arena, heard across the televised landscape: "We are Georgetown."

A true team effort, the box score is a little unusual, in that only four players (Hibbert, Cook, Owens, and Green) scored in the game. Hibbert finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds, Jeff Green 19 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, along with 17 points from Cook and 14 from Owens. Brandon Bowman was held scoreless (0 for 6) for only the third time in his career and sat after only 16 minutes of play in favor of Owens. Jonathan Wallace missed on his two attempts but added five assists and was a steady player throughout. Dials led all OSU scorers with 19, while Foster, who scored 11 points early in the game, was scoreless in the second.

"[Coach] said they were going to make a run, but for the most part I think we withstood it and we just had to stay home on [Foster]," said Ashanti Cook. "We would help on same-side drives and stayed a lot closer to him because he can go off and bring the team back."

Though Georgetown did not shoot well in the second half (35%), it controlled the boards with a +13 advantage on Ohio State, holding Dials to just four. Equally impressive on the boards was guard Jessie Sapp, who picked up four rebounds, two of which were at key points which allowed Georgetown to bend, but not break, during OSU runs. For the game, Georgetown managed 18 assists and just eight turnovers, while Ohio State collected ten assists and 11 turnovers.

Hibbert was the center of attention in the post-game press conference.

"This is one of Roy's best games against a quality opponent but he has been playing great for us all season," said Cook. "I just hope he continues to play the same way, aggressive and just dominate in the paint like he's been doing all year."

"I do think that was the best rebounding performance of the year because we did it as a collective effort," Hibbert said. "Jonathan Wallace went in there for a rebound, I believe Ashanti went in there for a rebound, Jeff grabbed really big rebounds for us, DJ, and I got rebounds so it's a emphasis every game for us to get big rebounds."

"We knew he was going to be a handful," said Ohio State's J.J. Sullinger. "He might be the biggest player I've seen in my college career. We knew he was going to pose some problems. He played exceptionally well today. You've got to give him and that whole team a lot of credit. They played exceptionally well."

"A team that plays like that, man, the sky's the limit for them."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

         MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wallace   25   0-1   0-1   0-0   4  5   3    0
Cook      37   5-7   2-4   1-2   5  5   1   17
Bowman    16   0-5   0-1   0-0   0  0   0    0
Green     39   6-14  2-4   1-1   8  6   1   19
Hibbert   30   7-13  0-0   6-7  14  0   2   20
Owens     32   3-3   2-4   2-2   2  1   3   14
Sapp      21   0-1   0-0   0-0   4  1   0    0
DNP: Izzo, Crawford, Thornton, Spann, Egerson,
Beal, Kilkenny-Diaw, Dizdarevic
TOTALS   200  21-44  6-14 10-12 37  18  10  70

Game recaps follow below.

Georgetown 54, Northern Iowa 49 3/17/06 8:30 pm

Roy Hibbert scored 17 points to steer the seventh seeded Georgetown Hoyas past a dangerous #10 seed in Northern Iowa, 54-49, Friday in the first round of the 2006 NCAA tournament.

Both teams opened well to begin the game, connecting on eight of its first ten shots in a 9-9 score at the first television time out. UNI (23-10) built an early lead on the shooting of guard John Little, with four three pointers and 14 points in the half. UNI built its largest lead at 27-20 late in the half, as Georgetown connected on only 1 of 8 shooting over a six minute period. An eight inch height advantage allowed Hibbert to get plenty of action down the stretch in the half, collecting nine points as the Hoyas closed to four at halftime, 30-26.

UNI's first half strength was largely the result of two players: John Little (5-5 from the floor) and Eric Coleman (3-3). Beyond these two, the Panthers were only 3 for 16. As a result of Georgetown's halftime adjustments, Little and Coleman combined for just one basket in the second half, and the Hoyas began to battle through the UNI defenses. But it wasn't easy.

"We changed a few things in the second half, and I thought that we did a good job of making them take good, contested shots," said coach John Thompson III in post game remarks. "We were fortunate that they didn't go in and that, for the most part, our guys ran down the rebounds. A lot of it, I think, is that we were just fortunate that they missed in the second half."

Georgetown tied the score at 30-all early in the half but could not shake the Panthers, as each team shut down the other offensively. UNI posted its last lead with 14:29 to play, 34-32, but as the Hoyas shut down the UNI perimeter, the Panthers went ice cold, scoring one field goal a a 12 minute period. No less amazing was that Georgetown could not build more than a six point lead during this entire defensive stand.

Three Georgetown field goals were huge down the stretch. A Jessie Sapp three gave Georgetown a three point lead, 37-34, with 12:26 to play, matched by an Ashanti Cook there that extended the count to 42-38 with 7:36 to play. A Cook jumper extended the lead to 44-38 but GU failed on consecutive possessions to put the game out of reach. A John Little three with 2:14 to play rallied the Panthers to a 44-41 count, and the game was back on.

On the next series, the Hoyas went back inside to Hibbert for the basket, 46-41. Off a missed three by Little, Georgetown could not convert and UNI's Eric Stout forced a fifth foul on Hibbert with 1:11 to play. Stout made one of two free throws, and the Panthers fouled Jeff Green to stop the clock. Green missed the front end of the one-and one, giving UNI another chance, but off the possession Brandon Bowman was left untouched at midcourt, cruising in for a dunk and extending the lead to 48-42 with :30 to play.

Northern Iowa, which had shot 3 for 21 in the half, caught fire but it was too late. UNI scored on three baskets in the final 22 seconds, but four free throws and a layup from from Ashanti Cook kept the lead safe. If Hibbert kept the Hoyas in the game, Cook helped close the deal.

Both teams shot poorly from outside, with UNI shooting 7 for 26 (2 for 21 beyond Little) and Georgetown 5 for 19. The key was Hibbert's efforts inside, earning Georgetown its 16th first round win in its last 17 NCAA appearances. Overall, Georgetown is 18-5 in first round games (with first round losses in 1975, 1976, 1979, 1981, and 1997.)

"Coach Carril used to talk about some players are light bulbs," said Thompson. "When they walk into a gym, a light bulb goes off... Roy is one of those guys. He walks in the gym and a light bulb goes off, because he wants to work and he comes to work and it's paying off."

"I think the jitters are gone now," said Cook. "We came to win, not to participate."

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

         MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wallace   33   1-1   1-5   0-0   0  2   0    5
Cook      28   2-5   2-3   4-4   3  2   3   14
Bowman    31   3-5   0-2   0-0   7  3   0    6
Green     37   0-2   0-3   2-3   7  3   3    2
Hibbert   26   8-10  0-0   1-3   9  0   5   17
Owens     22   1-3   0-1   2-4   3  3   1    4
Sapp      20   0-1   2-4   0-0   2  2   0    6
Crawford   3   0-0   0-1   0-0   0  0   0    0
Team Rebounds                    1
DNP: Izzo, Thornton, Spann, Egerson,
Beal, Kilkenny-Diaw, Dizdarevic
TOTALS   200  15-27 5-19  9-14  32  15  12  54

Game recaps follow below.

Revenue Implications Of NCAA Tournament 3/16/06

At the beginning of the NCAA tournament, a link from CNN.com looks at NCAA schools which built up significant revenues from college basketball. Most fans would be surprised, then, to read this quote: "Only one major conference school in this year's tournament -- Big East's Georgetown -- reported a loss from its basketball program last year."

Inside The Numbers 3/15/06

Have some extra time on your hands? ESPN.com has an in-depth analysis of historical trends in the tournament by various permutations of the brackets, such as the records of individual seeds moving through the brackets. Check it out.

Pre-Tournament Articles 3/15/06

As the national media file stories in advance of the first round, here are a sample of Georgetown-related stories in the press.

The Denver Post reports on the impact of Coach John Thompson III on the program. 'The feedback that I'm hearing from alums, students is they are just so excited with what Coach has been able to do with the program," said athletic director Bernard Muir. "And the players, how focused they are to taking the next steps back in the center core group of college basketball programs, it's tremendous. It's an exciting time for us."

Last week, the Hartford Courant discussed the contrast between the two Thompson coaches. "He's been under probably one of the most stressful years in his life and he's handled it well," said former coach Thompson. I don't think I could have done what he did this year because of how I do things. I attribute that to how he is and how his mother raised him. He really takes after his mother more than he does me."

The Baltimore Sun also highlights the father-son legacy, with quotes from former players Gene Smith and Ralph Dalton on the team's efforts to date. "They've got a Thompson, a Ewing and a team on a roll," said Dalton, "The buzz is back."

Five Years Ago 3/15/06

Do you remember where you were five years ago March 15? John Hawkes does, and he relates it in his column on the fifth anniversary of Generation Burton's finest moment, the Hoyas' win over Arkansas in the 2001 NCAA tournament.

The Hoyas (24-7) overcame a seven point second half deficit to defeat Arkansas 63-61, thanks to a defensive stand and a Nate Burton buzzer beater that required official review before the Hoyas headed to the locker room with their first NCAA win since March 21, 1996.

The game marked only the third time in 22 NCAA tournament appearances that a lower seeded Georgetown team defeated a higher seeded opponent since the introduction of tournament seeding in 1979.

After graduating from Georgetown in 2001, Nate Burton has literally traveled the world as a basketball player. He spent the 2001-02 season with the Harlem Globetrotters, followed by a season in Finland and two tours with teams in the USBL. In 2004-05, he was picked up by the NBA Developmental League's Asheville Altitude, but was cut five days later. This season, Burton is playing for the Shougang Beijing Ducks of the Chinese league.

More on the 2001 game follows in this link to the News Archive page.

Coaching Greats Talk Basketball 3/15/06

Earlier this season, three of the greatest names in local coaching--John Thompson, Morgan Wootten, and Jim Phelan--sat down at a Washington Post forum to discuss their thoughts on the game Wednesday's Post has published excerpts from that talk.

Recommended reading.

Final AP Poll: #23 3/14/06

Georgetown ends the 2005-06 season ranked #23 in the final Associated Press poll. It's the first national ranking at the end of the season since 2000-01.

Other Big East teams in the poll include Connecticut (2), Villanova (3), Pittsburgh (16), Syracuse (21) and West Virginia (22). Eight Big East schools were ranked during at least one week of the season.

Meet "The Valley" 3/14/06

One of the big stories around this season's NCAA tournament is the emergence of the Missouri Valley Conference, which placed as many schools in the tournament as the ACC--four--and may have earned as many as five on its RPI alone. With MVC member Northern Iowa awaiting Georgetown this Friday, the Washington Times looks at the conference and its recent success.

Thompson talks To WSJ 3/14/06

Monday's Wall Street Journal has an in-depth interview with former Georgetown coach John Thompson on the changes in college basketball during the years, including recruiting, conference relationships, fan behavior, and the impact of the three point shot.

Thompson also talks about the changing role of recruiting.

"What they do is identify kids who have tremendous talent, and then if that kid doesn't have the talent they anticipated, or there is no NBA interest, they dump the kid," said Thompson. "That was the great thing about college. If you set your sights on being a pro and missed, you still had an education. Now if you miss, you got nothing. That is the danger of it."

Rosters Named For All-Star Games 3/14/06

Announcements begin this week for rosters for the region's major games for high school seniors. The Capital Classic has announced its U.S. roster for its April 13 game at George Washington University, which will feature Georgetown signee Jeremiah Rivers.

In Baltimore, the Charm City Challenge has named Georgetown signee DaJuan Summers to its Baltimore team in advance of its April 2 game at Towson University.

Mutombo Becomes American Citizen 3/14/06

Former Georgetown All-American Dikembe Mutombo (SLL'91) was sworn in as a United States citizen last week. Mutombo, a native of the Congo, lives in Atlanta with his family and received the final paperwork last week for citizenship.

"It's more joy and more happiness," said Mutombo in this link to the Hartford Courant. "My blood is still going to be Congolese. This is where we are going to call home, so it's good to be an American."

Georgetown Joins 2006 NCAA Field Updated 3/13/06

The five year wait is over.

Georgetown University earned its 23rd NCAA bid and its first since 2001 on Sunday, selected as a seventh seed in the 2006 NCAA tournament. The Hoyas (21-9) open play on Friday in Dayton, OH against 10th seed Northern Iowa (23-9).

"As the selection show went on, I wondered if they forgot about us," said coach John Thompson III, who watched the selections unfold among over 400 students in the Leavey Center. "This is an exciting time for our team. It's an exciting time for our campus. But once you see Northern Iowa pop up, you know it's time to get back to work."

Georgetown was one of three local teams receiving invitations. Sixth ranked George Washington (26-2) unexpectedly fell to a #8 seed following an early loss in the Atlantic 10 tournament and faces #9 North Carolina-Wilmington in a first round game, with the winner expected to meet #1 seed Duke in the second round. George Mason (23-7) became the first Colonial Athletic Association team to earn an at large bid since 1986 with an 11th seed. Maryland (19-12) did not receive an NCAA bid and has accepted an NIT bid instead.

"Playing in the Big East gets you ready for tournament like this," said graduate student Darrel Owens in the Washington Post link below. "We've already played three number one seeds in the tournament: Duke, Connecticut and Villanova. Those are probably three of the toughest teams in the tournament, so we know what it takes to win."

A copy of the full brackets may be found here; the winner of the Georgetown-Northern Iowa game meets the winner of #2 Ohio State vs. #15 Davidson on Sunday in Dayton.

Additional media coverage follows below:

Ticket Information 3/12/06

The following information was released by Georgetown Sunday night for ticket orders:

"Hoya Hoop Club members at the $1,500 level and above who are interested in tickets for NCAA First and Second Round Tickets may call (202) 687-2449 on Monday, March 13 to place an order. Beginning at 9am on Tuesday, March 14, Hoya Hoop Club members below the $1,500 level may call (202) 687-2449 to place any order for any possible remaining tickets.

"Non-Hoop Club member Georgetown alumni may call (202) 687-2449 after noon on Tuesday, March 14 to inquire about any remaining tickets.

"Tickets are $180 and are good for all sessions. There is a four ticket limit. No tickets are guaranteed."

Big East Teams In The Post-Season 3/12/06

Big East teams included in the post-season include the following:

NCAA: Record Seed Next Opponent (Seed)
Connecticut 27-3 1 Albany (16)
Villanova 25-4 1 Monmouth or
Hampton (play-in)
Pittsburgh 24-7 5 Kent St. (12)
Syracuse 23-11 5 Texas A&M (12)
West Virginia 20-10 6 Southern Illinois (11)
Georgetown 21-9 7 Northern Iowa (10)
Marquette 20-10 7 Alabama (10)
Seton Hall 18-11 10 Wichita St.(7)
NIT: Record Seed Next Opponent (Seed)
Cincinnati 19-12 1 Charlotte or
Georgia Southern (play-in)
Louisville 18-12 1 N. Ariz or Del. St. (play-in)
Notre Dame 15-13 5 Vanderbilt (4)
Rutgers 18-13 8 Penn State (7)
No Bid:      
St. John's 12-15    
DePaul 12-15    
Providence 12-15    
South Florida 7-22    
March Madness: Then & Now 3/13/06 

Sunday's Chicago Sun Times looks back at the early days of media coverage of the NCAA tournament, with some amusing anecdotes as well as comments from a variety of college coaches, including former coach John Thompson.

"Just look at the characters we had," said Thompson, referring to his contemporaries in the early days of the Big East conference. "We had some real characters and some real jackasses...But it never would have happened if it weren't for the shoe companies because none of those schools could afford to pay us. There was no way these small Catholic schools would have been able to compete. People talked about our dedication, and I thought, 'Dedication, my foot.' It came down to the fact that we were playing in New York and were on television all the time, and Nike and Puma and the other shoe companies said, 'Hell, we can advertise with these guys.'"

Syracuse 57, Georgetown 56 3/13/06

A recap of the game was not posted to the site during the Big East tournament. Here's a game recap from The HOYA.

Georgetown 62, Marquette 59 3/13/06

A recap of the game was not posted to the site during the Big East tournament. Here's a game recap from The HOYA.

Georgetown 67, Notre Dame 3/13/06

A recap of the game was not posted to the site during the Big East tournament. Here's a game recap from The HOYA.

Bowman, Hibbert Honored 3/7/06

Sophomores Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert were named second team team all conference selections as announced by the conference on March 6. Here's a link to the announcement.

Big East Tournament Records 3/8/05
Here's a review of the overall tournament records of the twelve teams heading into the brackets. To say Georgetown is overdue for a suitable run is a considerable understatement--of the six  pre-expansion Big East schools in the tournament, each has advanced to at least the semifinals in the years since Georgetown last appeared on Friday night six years ago, and each have won a title since Georgetown last won in March, 1989, 16 years ago.
  All-Time Record Semis Record Finals Record Last Semis Last Finals Last Title
1. Connecticut 39-20 9-3 6-3 2005 2004 2004
2. Villanova 27-24 4-10 1-3 2005 1997 1995
3. W. Virginia 4-8 1-0 0-1 2005 2005 --
4. Marquette 0-0 0-0 0-0 -- -- --
5. Georgetown 39-20 10-6 6-4 2000 1996 1989
6. Pittsburgh 16-22 4-3 1-3 2004 2004 2003
7. Seton Hall 19-24 2-4 2-0 2001 1993 1993
8. Cincinnati 0-0 0-0 0-0 -- -- --
9. Syracuse 37-22 12-6 4-8 2005 2005 2005
10. Rutgers 4-8 0-1 0-0 1998 -- --
11. Louisville 0-0 0-0 0-0 -- -- --
12. Notre Dame 3-10 0-1 0-0 2002 -- --
Big East: Pre-Season Prediction Vs. Actual Finish 3/8/05


Predicted Actual   Predicted Actual
1. Syracuse 1. BC   1. Villanova 1. UConn
2. UConn 2. UConn   2. UConn 2. Villanova
3. Pitt 3. Syracuse   3. Louisville 3. W. Virginia
4. Notre Dame 4. Villanova   4. Syracuse 4. Marquette
5. BC 5. Pitt   5. W. Virginia 5. Georgetown
6. Providence 6. Notre Dame   6. Georgetown 6. Pitt
7. Villanova 7. Georgetown   7. Pitt 7. Seton Hall
8. Seton Hall 8. W. Virginia   8. Notre Dame 8. Cincinnati
9. W. Virginia 9. Providence   9. Cincinnati 9. Syracuse
10. Rutgers 10. Seton Hall   10. St. John's 10. Rutgers
11. Georgetown 11. St. John's   11. DePaul 11. Louisville
12. St. John's 12. Rutgers   12. Marquette 12. Notre Dame
      13. Providence 13. DePaul
      14. Rutgers 14. Providence
15. Seton Hall 15. St. John's
16. S. Florida 16. S. Florida
First Round: Georgetown-Notre Dame 3/5/06 

As a result of Saturday's loss and Rutgers' win over St. John's, Georgetown opens Big East play as the fifth seed at 2:00 Wednesday versus #12 seed Notre Dame. ND won five of its final seven to qualify for the tournament.

The winner of Wednesday's game faces Marquette in the quarterfinals and a possible game with #1 Connecticut in the semifinals. Monday's Cincinnati Enquirer calls Georgetown's draw the toughest of the 12 team group.

Early pre-game coverage follows in links to the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune.

Big East Tournament: Record Vs. Opponents 3/5/06 

Here's the all time record of the Hoyas against currently seeded Big east teams in advance of the tournament:

Opponent Record Last GU Win Last GU Loss
1. Connecticut 2-4 1991 Quarters 2005 Quarters
2. Villanova 3-0 2003 1st Rd. None
3. W. Virginia 1-0 2000 1st Rd. None
4. Marquette 0-0    
6. Pittsburgh 2-0 1989 Quarters None
7. Seton Hall 4-4 2005 1st Rd. 2001 Quarters
8. Cincinnati 0-0    
9. Syracuse 6-5 2000 Quarters 2003 Quarters
10. Rutgers 0-1 None 1998 Quarters
11. Louisville 0-0    
12. Notre Dame 0-0    
Big East Through The Years 3/6/06 

Here's a look at Georgetown's past finishes in the tournament.

  Record Seed Last Game Result
1980 3-0 #3 Def. #1 Syracuse Champs
1981 1-1 #2 Lost to #6 Syracuse Semis
1982 3-0 #2 Def. #1 Villanova Champs
1983 0-1 #4 Lost to #5 Syracuse Quarters
1984 3-0 #1 Def. #2 Syracuse Champs
1985 3-0 #2 Def. #1 St. John's Champs
1986 1-1 #3 Lost to #2 Syracuse Semis
1987 3-0 #1 Def. #3 Syracuse Champs
1988 0-1 #3 Lost to #6 S. Hall Quarters
1989 3-0 #1 Def. #3 Syracuse Champs
1990 1-1 #5 Lost to #5 UConn Semis
1991 2-1 #6 Lost to #4 S. Hall Finals
1992 2-1 #2 Lost to #5 Syracuse Finals
1993 0-1 #8 Lost to #1 S. Hall Quarters
1994 2-1 #6 Lost to #4 PC Finals
1995 1-1 #4 Lost to #1 UConn Semis
1996 2-1 #2 Lost to #1 UConn Finals
1997 1-1 #2 Lost to #3 BC Semis
1998 1-1 #13 Lost to #12 Rutgers Quarters
1999 1-1 #10 Lost to #2 Miami Quarters
2000 2-1 #9 Lost to #4 UConn Semis
2001 0-1 W2 Lost to W6 S. Hall Quarters
2002 1-1 W3 Lost to E2 Miami Quarters
2003 1-1 W5 Lost to W1 Syr. Quarters
2004 0-1 #12 Lost to #5 BC 1st Rd.
2005 1-1 #7 Lost to #2 UConn Quarters
South Florida 63, Georgetown 56 3/4/06 11:00 pm 

"We must have missed six layups, maybe more. This is not the time of year for that kind of effort. Is it a little disappointing. Hell, yes, it's very disappointing."--John Thompson III

With a first round bye and a top 20 ranking awaiting the Georgetown Hoyas en route to the Big East Tournament, all Georgetown needed to do was to avoid the conference hot potato that was the University of South Florida, a fifteen time loser in its inaugural season in the Big East. If the Hoyas played like they did a week earlier, no problem. A month earlier, no problem, and Wednesday's game can be watched by the team from an easy chair at the team hotel.

The easy chair has become the hot seat.

Georgetown called up the ghosts from its February 18, 2004 denouement to 6-16 St. John's in a crushing 63-56 loss to South Florida that stands as the worst loss by RPI comparison in school history. And was was even more bizarre was that this was not lost by some last second buzzer beater, but a 40 minute effort, once which Georgetown seemed slow to recognize and slower to adjust.

USF led early thanks to Georgetown turnovers--three in the first four minute propelled USF to leads of 8-4, 16-8, and 21-11, helped by 72% field goal shooting. As the Bulls' shooting cooled, Georgetown crawled back, closing to 21-17 before the Bulls extended the count to 30-21 with under 5:00 in the first half. A Darrel Owens three rallied the Hoyas to outscore the Bulls 10-0 to end the half, where a Jessie Sapp runner at the buzzer gave Georgetown a 31-30 lead and hopes that the second half would be a chance to pull away and go on to the Garden.

Instead, USF grabbed hold of the second half and never let go. Georgetown took a brief lead at 39-37 off a pair of Jeff Green free throws, but USF tied the score at 41 and proceeded to ramp up the offense while Georgetown (3-11 shooting) failed to capitalize. Five back door layups were missed over a ten minute period, as Georgetown went almost six minutes without a field goal staying close with numerous foul shots.

The Hoyas closed to 49-48 with 5:55 to play, but the Bulls built the lead to five off free throws and a steal. Brandon Bowman was fouled after a basket, 53-50, but missed a free throw, setting in motion a rudderless end game execution, including four turnovers, two for shot clock violations, that allowed USF to run down the clock and add two more baskets, 57-50 in the final two minutes. The Bulls relied on the foul line for its final points of the game, as Georgetown could close to no fewer than four.

Equally stunning was the Hoyas lack of response inside. Solomon Jones was 9-10 from the field, while Roy Hibbert took only two shots all night, making one. Jeff Green also disappeared, going 1-5 with four turnovers. Brandon Bowman led Georgetown scorers with 11, but coughed up the ball six times in crucial situations.

Georgetown managed just 11 shots in the first 18 minutes of the second half, while USF shot 57% in the second half on 11-19 shooting. Georgetown was held to 11 second half rebounds. Its four three point shots attempted were the fewest in any Big East game dating back to January 15, 1991, when three point shooting was far from an integral part of the Hoyas' offensive game plan.

Much as was the case in the St. John's game of two years ago, the Hoyas never caught on and its fans were stunned by the result: the lowest ranked RPI team to defeat Georgetown and only the second sub-200 loss in school history. And remember woeful St. John's in 2004? The Redmen entered that game with a 157 RPI, some 80 places higher.

The loss sends Georgetown to the #5 seed and a Wednesday afternoon matchup with either Notre Dame or Louisville, either of which could pose serious challenges to Georgetown's ability to advance to the second round. Its RPI dropped an astounding 19 places in the overnight rankings from 23 to 42, which in RPI terms is well onto the NCAA vs. NIT bubble, but a fifth place showing in the Big East should have greater weight in next week's selection, if Georgetown can right the ship.

Only time will tell the extent of damage inflicted from a breakdown on all sides of the ball. The first diagnosis follows Wednesday.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

         MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wallace   33   3-7   0-1   4-4   2  1   1   10
Cook      32   4-6   1-1   0-0   0  1   5   11
Bowman    33   4-6   0-0   3-6   5  2   3   11
Green     36   1-5   0-1  8-10   4  1   2   10
Hibbert   21   1-2   0-0   2-4   4  2   3    4
Owens     27   1-3   1-1   3-3   1  1   0    8
Sapp      18   1-2   0-0   0-0   2  0   1    2 
Team Rebounds                    1
DNP: Izzo, Crawford, Thornton, Spann, Egerson,
Beal, Kilkenny-Diaw, Dizdarevic
TOTALS   200  15-31  2-4 20-27  19  9  16   56

Game recaps follow below.

NY Times Discusses Thompson Compensation 3/3/06 

The salary of former head coach John Thompson is a topic in Friday's New York Times, where the paper reports that Thompson was the second highest paid employee at the University five years after resigning as head coach.

Following a complaint to the Times by a Georgetown faculty member, the Times reported that Thompson received $405,943 in 2004, which was less than University president Jack DeGioia but nearly $120,000 more than the provost, James O'Donnell. Thompson's salary is due to a deferred compensation package which allowed Georgetown to pay proportionately less to Thompson during his tenure.

"At the time we really couldn't afford to have a coach of his stature," DeGioia told the Times. "We came up with a framework that was fair to him and possible for the university to manage."

"The money part of it is extremely misleading, because I wouldn't even have been at the school years ago if they hadn't deferred some of that money," Thompson said.

Mark Asher (1945-2006) 3/3/06 

Friday's Washington Post notes the passing of Mark Asher, 60, a longtime sports writer at the paper and one of the key writers following the Hoyas in the years leading up to the 1984 NCAA championship.

"Ash was my friend," said former coach John Thompson, who Asher covered from Thompson's days at St. Anthony's HS. "He had respect for me, and I had respect for him."

APR Figures Released 3/2/06 

The NCAA has released updated Academic Progress Rate (APR) figures, which for the first time includes scholarship reductions for schools that are below the minimum 925 index figure.

The Georgetown figures across all sports are found here. In men's basketball, Georgetown scored a 963, fourth among the 16 schools and between the 70th and 80th percentile nationally. Eight Georgetown teams scored a perfect 1000 on the scale.

Overall, the Big East fared poorly, with nine schools below the 925 threshold, eight of which earned a one time waiver due to the size of their respective squad sizes. DePaul received no such waiver and will lose one scholarship in either 2006-07 or 2007-08 as a result.

Among colleges as a whole, fewer than two percent of teams lost scholarships, although losses in other sports ranged as many as nine scholarships lost by the Temple football team.

Big East Coaching News 3/2/06 

As reported Monday, there has been considerable talk surrounding contract buyouts for Rutgers coach Gary Waters and South Florida coach Robert McCullum. On Wednesday, Waters announced he will step down at season's end, while the Tampa Tribune reports that McCullum will return to South Florida next season.

AP Poll: #20 2/28/06  

Georgetown moved up three places in this week's Associated Press poll, finishing at #23. Other Big East teams in the AP poll include Connecticut (2), Villanova (4), Pitt (8) and West Virginia (16).


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