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Georgetown Basketball: March 2007 News Archive

The Quiet Leader 3/28/07

Were it not for a severe case of strep throat early in the season, it's likely junior guard Tyler Crawford would be in middle of the media's attention this week. Instead, the team captain pursues a quieter leadership role, according to this article from the Associated Press.

Crawford started the season opener prior to the illness, whereupon he lost 25 pounds and missed four games. He was not able to get back into the starting lineup, but never stopped contributing to the team.

"He's never quit," said Patrick Ewing, Jr. "He's the one in practice telling us, 'You guys have got to go hard.' 'You've got to do this.' 'You've got to do that.' That's why Coach made him the captain of this team. People are always talking about me standing up and running out into the huddles, but Tyler's right there with me. Just everything he does, he's almost the perfect teammate."

Crawford saw time in the North Carolina game and, in a brief moment of frustration, punched the basket support after a foul. Unfortunately, according to the Staunton News-Leader, the support was not padded and Crawford bruised his hand in the process.

Hibbert Awaits Matchup With Oden 3/28/07

Where once he was saddled with the title "Big Stiff", Roy Hibbert's development has been instrumental to the Hoyas' emerging success. Joe Gergen at Newsday talks to Hibbert and his teammates about his progress to date.

"I always played the low post in high school," Hibbert said. "But coach Thompson wanted me to do other stuff like run around the perimeter, set screens and dribble the ball. He's expanded my game a lot."

"When he was a freshman, he couldn't really get up and down the court for a full game and now you rarely see him get tired in a game," said Jeff Green. "He came to me after our freshman season and said, 'I am going to help you. I am going to work hard and get better and help carry the load.' I am so impressed that he kept his word and made that commitment."

Wash. Times: Thompson Awaits Raise 3/28/07

Wednesday's Washington Times suggests "the university could experience another Craig Esherick-era student protest" if Georgetown does not move on a pay raise for head coach John Thompson III.

Thompson, with two years remaining on his contract, is among the lower paid coaches in the conference but has declined informal offers to go elsewhere, according to the article. Georgetown officials declined comment to the Times as to its next steps on a contract extension.

Bijelo Polje Backs The Hoyas 3/28/07

When Sead Dizdarevic takes the court this weekend, he'll have a lot of long-distance support from his home town of Bijelo Polje, Montenegro, reports USA Today.

"I couldn't believe it," Dizdarevic said after receiving well wishes from his home town after the UNC game. "This is huge for my town."

Georgetown: Back To Work 3/27/07

The team returned to campus Monday from New Jersey, where they were greeted by the mayor of Washington and about 200 students outside McDonough Gymnasium. But as Coach Thompson noted, it's time to get back to work in advance of Saturday's national semifinal.

We just have to make sure our guys just understand that we put ourselves in a position to be one of four teams left," Thompson told the Washington Post. "We put ourselves in a position to be able to compete next week, and now we have to put ourselves in a position to win."

Big East teams are 9-2 in national semifinal games according to the Post, with the two losses coming in games against other Big East teams (Georgetown over St. John's in 1985, Syracuse over Providence in 1987.)

Elsewhere on the sports page, Thomas Boswell adds his thoughts on the 2007 Hoyas versus the teams of a generation ago in this column.

"Suddenly, what once seemed merely possible becomes palpable," writes Boswell. "In the final stages, as hope hardens into conviction, what were once thought to be a team's weaknesses prove that they have become strengths. Then, you're dangerous."

Green Named 3rd Team All-America 3/27/07

Junior forward Jeff Green (C'08) was selected for the Associated Press 3rd Team All-America list, it was reported Monday. Congratulations to Jeff and his family on this achievement.

John & Monica 3/27/07

In a rare interview, Monica Thompson talked with Andy Katz at ESPN.com to talk about her husband and the challenging task of her's husband's balance of family and career while she underwent treatment for breast cancer last year.

"John has done an incredible job of balancing and keeping everything in perspective," she said. Monica. "I was diagnosed in November [2005] before the first game, and my whole treatment was the entire season and I finished my chemo during the [2006] NCAA Tournament. He was there...at every single chemo treatment," she said.

"I've been lucky, fortunate and blessed by her strength," said coach Thompson. "She's tough, she's strong, she's a fighter and that's allowed me to do my job."

Recommended reading.

Chvotkin: "Hoyas Win!" 3/27/07

Georgetown radio announcer Rich Chvotkin gets some time in the national spotlight as well, thanks to a feature article in Tuesday's USA Today.

Chvotkin, who called his 1,000th game earlier this year, set an unofficial record of sorts with 17 calls of "Hoyas Win!" after the finish of the Vanderbilt game. "It is spontaneous," he says. "I don't count them. You just get caught up and 'boom,' it's a release, a steam valve. I just feel the emotion and let it flow."

The article also contains audio clips of recent calls from the two NCAA regional games.

Georgetown 96, North Carolina 84 (OT) 3/26/07

New Orleans 1982, meet New Jersey 2007.

Four days removed from the 25th anniversary of a game which still follows these two schools as if it were yesterday, there would be no Michael Jordan or James Worthy to carry the day. Instead, there stood a 6-1 former walk-on from Harvest, AL, who television analysts kept saying couldn't shoot well enough to stand up to the McDonald's All Americans that are part of the UNC tradition.

Carolina Blue, meet Jonathan Wallace.

On his way to being the most prolific three point shooter in school history, Wallace's three pointer with 24 seconds left was the centerpiece of a historic and stunning Georgetown comeback over top seeded North Carolina, earning Georgetown the NCAA Eastern regional title for the first time in 22 years, a 96-84 overtime win before a raucous 19,554 at the New Jersey Meadowlands.

Georgetown entered the game a decided underdog due to North Carolina's speed and stature--it was assumed that Georgetown could not maintain UNC's level of play with its slower motion offense. From the outset, Georgetown attempted to prove the media naysayers wrong. A back door pass to Wallace opened the scoring, and the Hoyas posted three layups in as many possessions three minutes into the game, 6-6.

What proved Georgetown's biggest foe in this game was the official's whistle. From Roy Hibbert's first foul, 35 seconds into the contest, it seemed UNC began a veritable parade to the line. With Georgetown leading 11-8, a basket and foul by Brendan Wright led to five straight free throws and a 15-11 lead. The Hoyas continued to effectively attack the UNC defense and led by as many as seven, 22-15, when the Tar Heels began to pick up the pace and sink shots in quick order. A three from Wes Miller and a two from Deon Thompson cut the lead to 22-20, following which referee Curtis Shaw hit John Thompson with only his second technical foul of the season for being out of the coach's box. Two free throws later, the game was tied, and UNC had now gone nine times to the line in the game, making all nine, while GU had only one free throw shooting opportunity in the first eight minutes.

Deon Thompson continued the Heels' advance with consecutive baskets to extend the lead to 26-22, an 11-0 run. The Hoyas closed to three at 26-24, but staggered when Hibbert picked up his second foul with 9:58 to play, opening the door for another Tar Heel run. Consecutive threes by Rayshawn Terry and a pair of free throws by Tyler Hansbrough pushed the Carolina lead to nine, 35-26, by which point UNC was 12-13 from the line compared to just 1-2 for the Hoyas.

What had kept the Hoyas hanging on was good shooting, having made 10 of 17 to open the game. With Hibbert sitting, the shooting took a dip, as Wright connected on two more baskets to build the lead to ten, 40-30. Hibbert returned to the floor, but for every step the Hoyas took, the Heels were ready to answer--consecutive baskets by Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert were answered by a basket and two free throws by Wright. A Roy Hibbert block and Jeff Green bucket cut the lad to five, but UNC extended it back to nine within 40 seconds, 48-39. A pair of late fouls by Patrick Ewing Jr., including one inexplicably with 0.6 seconds remaining, sent UNC to the line yet again, as the Tar Heels ended the half out shooting Georgetown 17-5 at the line and led 50-44 at the break. For a Georgetown team which allowed an average of 55 points a game, this seemed a signal to the television audience that it was all over but the shouting.

As it has done so many times this season, Georgetown used the halftime break to refocus and regroup. Unfortunately, the second half began much as the first--an early Wallace basket was followed by an early Hibbert foul--his third--and Tyler Hansbrough opened with six straight points to extend the lead to eight, 56-48. Both teams traded three pointers early, and by the 11 minute mark Georgetown had shot a remarkable 75% in the half, but were still trailing by eight, 71-63.

A second cold streak blew across the court for the Hoyas, as Georgetown proceeded to miss eight straight shots. But following a Deon Thompson jumper at the 9:15 mark and two free throws by Marcus Ginyard to extend the lead to ten, 75-65, something utterly unexpected happened--the high flying Tar heel offense suddenly ran out of gas, much as its opponents had done all year and much as Southern California had sputtered late in the regional semifinal. Though no one could fully see it coming, the North Carolina offense was about to fall victim to a defensive stand unseen in Georgetown annals since the day when Sam Bowie and Melvin Turpin met Gene Smith and David Wingate.

A the 6:02 mark Brandon Wright picked up his 4th foul, with Jeff Green adding a free throw to cut the lead to nine, 75-66. Off a Carolina miss, Jessie Sapp drove the lane for a layup, 75-68. Following another errant shot by the Tar Heels, Hibbert found Green for the basket, 75-70. Yet another UNC miscue followed, its seventh straight, which saw the Hoyas go inside to Hibbert with 4:22 to play, 75-72, and the Meadowlands erupted with a roar largely unheard of north of the Mason-Dixon Line, and certainly odd given its surroundings--New Jersey was pulling for the Hoyas.

The good feelings took a gasp when Hibbert, who had managed to stay foul-free since the opening moment of the half, picked up his 4th foul with 3:48 to play. Following the free throws, Georgetown's hopes seemed on a tightrope, trailing by five, 77-72. On its next play, Jonathan Wallace was fouled on the drive and sank both free throws, 77-74. UNC opted to expand the lead from three point range, but Rayshawn Terry's shot was wide and Hibbert picked up the rebound. With Green driving for the basket, he opted for a pass to Ewing, who tapped in the basket, 77-76 with 2:34 to play.

A quick whistle brought UNC back to the line yet again, with Hansbrough hitting two more at the 2:26 mark, 79-76. Off a Georgetown time out, Sapp pierced the Heels' inside defense for an easy layup, 79-78, answered by two more from Hansbrough, 81-78 with 1:40 to play.

The arena waited for Jeff Green to make the big play, but his bank shot missed with 1:20 to play. Following a UNC timeout, the Tar Heels went inside to Hansbrough, who was called for an offensive foul with 0:44 to play. Georgetown had another chance.

UNC's interior defense blanketed Hibbert and Green, and perimeter passing proved difficult. With the court presence that has distinguished his career to date, Wallace found a seam at the three point line and let loose a 24 footer that tied the score and sent the crowd into bedlam, 81-81, with 24 seconds to play.

For their chance at the win, UNC surprisingly did not go inside. Instead, Wayne Ellington opted for a long three, which, while open, bounced high and into the hands of Ewing with two seconds left. A half court shot fell short, but the surprising Hoyas had worked themselves into overtime, 81-81.

North Carolina's overtime record in the post-season was not good and its seemed that the ghosts of its overtimes past had descended upon the arena. Georgetown opened with a Wallace back door, 83-81. UNC's first attempt was blocked by Hibbert and converted by Summers, 85-81. Following a UNC miss with 2:24 to play, Hansbrough picked up his fourth foul and Summers calmly collected two free throws, 89-81. At this point, North Carolina had missed a simply unbelievable 16 of 17 shots since midway in the second half.

Down eight, UNC threw its hopes and prayers behind the three point shot, which failed yet again. Sapp was fouled with 1:13 to play and sank both free throws, and by that point CBS posted the graphic "Saturday, 6:07 pm, Georgetown/Ohio State". It was not more than twenty minutes earlier that Jim Nantz and Billy Packer were all but ready to send Roy Williams to Atlanta, and the Hoyas had stunned not only a network, but the college basketball world.And the points kept on coming. Another Carolina miss, its ninth in the OT, led to a quick foul and two more GU free throws, 93-81. Off its tenth miss, Hansbrough was fouled with 31 seconds left. And if this moment didn't tell you that the tables had turned, nothing did. Hansbrough, who finished with 26 points and was 14-14 from the line in the game, missed both attempts.

Off his second miss, Summers was all alone for a rare break away, and Sapp added a free throw in the final seven seconds, 96-84. The final Carolina three was the only point scored of the entire overtime period.

Georgetown's numbers are the stuff of awe in this game. Shooting 59% in the first half, Georgetown finished 58% from the field, 57% from three (8-14) and 12-18 from the line, 10-13 in the second half. Equally notable are the UNC statistics, particularly in the second half. From a 50 percent first half, the Tar Heels finished at 35%, with, at one point, missing 22 of 23 shots.

"It was just a good team effort, like everybody just stuck together," said Dajuan Summers in post-game comments. "We knew starting overtime that if we stuck together and continued to do the things we were doing, it would look up for us. We got some tough stops. I made some good offensive plays and stuff with our offense. Things just worked out for us."

"With our offense, we just wanted to stay patient," said Wallace. "I guess a lot of teams associate that with being very effective. But, you know, a lot of teams, you know, with North Carolina, they have a lot of firepower. They want the ball early to get out on transition. We just try to stick with our stuff and be as patient as we could and get the best shot that we can get."

Following the game, the team made its way to press row, to exchange hugs with John Thompson Jr., calling the game for Westwood One.

"He's just a major part of our success," said Summers. "He helps us a lot on and off the court, giving us tips, things to do to become better people and better basketball players. Just go over there, give him a hug, show him we appreciate him, it meant a lot."

All five starters were in double figures. Green led all scorers with 22, followed by a strong 20 from Summers, 19 from Wallace, 15 from Sapp, and 13 from Hibbert. The bench only added seven, but they came at big times throughout. It was a total team effort, and one which ranks among the greatest of games in the school's 100 years of basketball.

"We feel we have to honor the history of this program," said Wallace, "but we also feel like we're making our own history now."

"It was a great game between two competitive teams trying to make it to the next step," said Green. "So hopefully down the road, you know, everybody will look back at this game and say it was a classic game. "

Consider it done. And as Roy Hibbert summed it up, "we're just gonna keep moving on."

Atlanta, meet the Georgetown Hoyas.

Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

         MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Wallace   38   4-7   3-4   2-2   3   7  1   19 
Sapp      36   3-5   2-4   3-5   4   8  3   15 
Summers   35   5-7   2-3   4-4   6   0  1   20 
Green     42   9-16  1-1   1-3   9   3  1   22
Hibbert   31   6-10  0-0   1-1  11   4  4   13
Macklin    9   1-3   0-0   0-1   1   0  3    2  
Rivers    17   0-1   0-0   1-2   1   2  1    1
Ewing     17   2-3   0-2   0-0   2   2  4    4
DNP: Izzo, Crawford, Spann, Dizdarevic
TOTALS   200 30-52   8-14 12-18 37  26 18   96

Post-game links follow below. Enjoy.

  • GUHoyas.com
  • Tar Heel Blue.com
  • NCAA Postgame Quotes
  • Associated Press
  • Associated Press (2)

  • Associated Press (2)
  • Baltimore Sun
  • Bergen Record
  • Bergen Record (2)
  • Bergen Record (3)
  • Boston Globe
  • CBS Sportsline.com
  • CBS Sportsline.com (2)
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Chicago S-T
  • Daily Tar Heel

  • Daily Tar Heel (2)
  • Durham Herald-Sun
  • Durham Herald-Sun (2)
  • FoxSports.com
  • Ft. Worth S-T
  • Greensboro N-R
  • Greensboro N-R (2)
  • Hampton Roads D-P
  • Hartford Courant
  • The HOYA
  • Hoya Prospectus
  • LA Daily News
  • Newark S-L
  • Newark S-L (2)
  • Newark S-L (3)
  • Newark S-L (4)
  • NY Daily News
  • NY Daily News (2)
  • NY Daily News (3)
  • NY Post
  • NY Post (2)
  • NY Post (3)
  • NY Times
  • NY Times (2)
  • Newsday
  • Newsday (2)
  • Norfolk V-P
  • Phila. DN
  • Phila. DN (2)
  • Phila. Inquirer
  • Phila Inquirer (2)
  • Raleigh N&O
  • Raleigh N&O (2)
  • Raleigh N&O (3)
  • Raleigh N&O (4)
  • USA Today
  • Wash. Post
  • Wash. Post (2)
  • Wash. Post (3)
  • Wash. Post (4)
  • Wash. Post (5)
  • Wash. Post (6)
  • Wash. Times
  • Wash. Times (2)
  • Wash. Times (3)
  • W-S Journal
  • Yahoo Sports
    Georgetown-UNC Pregame Articles 3/25/07
  • GU Game Notes
  • UNC Game Notes
  • Assoc. Press
  • Assoc. Press (2)
  • Asbury Park Press
  • Asbury Park Press (2)
  • Bergen Record
  • Bergen Record (2)
  • Bergen Record (3)
  • Bergen Record (4)
  • CBS Sportsline.com
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Durham Herald-Sun
  • Durham Herald-Sun (2)
  • Durham Herald-Sun (3)
  • Durham Herald-Sun (3)
  • Durham Herald-Sun (4)
  • Greensboro N-R
  • Greensboro N-R (2)
  • Greensboro N-R (3)
  • Greensboro N-R (4)
  • The HOYA
  • Hoya Prospectus
  • LA Times
  • Newark S-L
  • Newark S-L (2)
  • Newark S-L (3)
  • NY Daily News
  • NY Post
  • NY Post (2)
  • NY Post (3)
  • NY Times
  • Newsday
  • Newsday (2)
  • Newsday (3)
  • Norfolk V-P
  • Phila. Inquirer
  • Raleigh N&O
  • Raleigh N&O (2)
  • Raleigh N&O (3)
  • Raleigh N&O (4)
  • Raleigh N&O (5)
  • USA Today
  • Wash. Post
  • Wash. Post (2)
  • Wash. Post (3)
  • Wash. Post (4)
  • Wash. Post (5)
  • Wash. Times
  • Wash. Times (2)
  • W-S Journal
  • W-S Journal (2)
    "It's Gotta Be The Shoes..." 3/25/07

    Some Georgetown fans might have noticed a change in the Hoyas out of halftime of the Vanderbilt game--not just their attitude, but their footwear. This article from The HOYA discusses a new pair of Nike shoes ditched at halftime of the game and the return of the soles that will battle the Heels Sunday.

    Georgetown 66, Vanderbilt 65 3/23/07 10:15 pm

    A Jeff Green jumper with 2.5 seconds lifted the Georgetown Hoyas to a thrilling, come from behind 66-65 win over Vanderbilt to advance to the NCAA Eastern Regional final Sunday.

    The game was every bit of a roller coaster for fans of both schools. Georgetown started the game strong, 5-2, but soon fell victim to Vanderbilt's outside shooting, just as its outside shooting struggled. The Commodores outscored GU scored 16-1, with Georgetown unable to engage Roy Hibbert early and missing six of its first seven threes while Vanderbilt was five for nine. Georgetown endured two scoring droughts of more than five minutes without a field goal, trailing 18-6 and 27-14.

    The Hoyas then returned the run to close to three, 27-24 with 2:21, but Jeff Green missed a layup that could have closed to one and Vanderbilt responded with five straight to lead 32-24 at the half, Georgetown's fewest points in a half since the quarterfinals of the 2006 Big East tournament. Vanderbilt finished 5-9 from three point range at halftime, Georgetown 1-7.

    Hibbert roared out of the second half with three of the Hoyas' first four field goals as Georgetown closed to five with 17:30 left, and tied the score with 16:27 on a Dajuan Summers three, 36-36. Three fouls on Vanderbilt's Ted Skuchas in 1:25 opened the door for Hibbert inside, as he posted 12 of the Hoyas first 19 points of the half, taking a 43-40 lead with 12 minutes to play.

    When Hibbert picked up his third foul, he went to the bench and Vanderbilt tightened its game, trading baskets with the Hoyas for much of the next five minutes. A Jonathan Wallace three gave the Hoyas a 54-51 lead with 6:20 to play, but the Georgetown offense stalled as Vandy scored seven straight to take a 58-54 lead with 4:36 to play.

    After missing 8 of his first 10 shots, Jessie Sapp hit a big three to close the lead to to one, 58-57. But with 1:16, Hibbert picked up two fouls and fouled out, raising the spirits of the Commodore fans in attendance. For every basket the Hoyas could gain on the offensive end, fouls sent Vandy to the line. Vanderbilt did not connect on a field goal for the final 4:48, but was 7-9 from the line.

    The Hoyas looked to be peaking when Sapp picked off a Vanderbilt pass with 2:04 and was fouled on the basket, but he missed the free throw, and Vandy was fouled on the far end, where Ross Neltner made one of two free throws, to close to 62-61. Jon Wallace answered with a jumper, 64-61, but Derrick Byars and Dan Cage were fouled on consecutive possessions, hitting 4-4 from the line to take the lead, 65-64 with :17 left.

    With the ball inside to Green, he was double covered and nearly lost the ball. Twisting to the basket, he his the shot with 2.5 seconds left. In the rush, Vanderbilt did not call one of its two remaining time outs, and a half court shot was deflected by Sapp in the most thrilling finish for Georgetown game since the Jan. 21, 2006 game with Duke.

    The key to the game was Georgetown's second half response to Vanderbilt. The Commodores were nothing less than solid in the first half, shooting 46% from the field, six threes, and 11 assists on 12 field goal possessions. In the second half, they were held to just 36% from the field, 3-12 from three point range. Georgetown a 40-26 rebound advantage, including a 16-8 advantage on offensive rebounds. Vanderbilt limited Georgetown to just four free throws in the second half while they shot 20, hitting 16.

    For its part, Georgetown reversed its early three point shooting woes, from a 2-9 effort in the first to 6-10 in the second.

    A great game for both teams, and a series worth renewing next year. These are two schools with a lot to be proud of.

    Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

             MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
    Wallace   33   1-3   2-5   0-0   3   4  1    8 
    Sapp      33   1-5   1-5   1-3   5   3  3    6 
    Summers   34   2-9   3-4   2-4   7   3  1   15 
    Green     40   7-9   0-2   1-1   4   3  3   15
    Hibbert   27   5-7   0-0   2-4  10   0  5   12
    Rivers     8   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0
    Crawford   8   0-0   1-2   0-0   2   0  2    3
    Ewing     17   1-4   1-1   2-2   3   1  3    7
    Team Rebounds                    5
    DNP: Macklin, Izzo, Spann, Dizdarevic
    TOTALS   200 17-37   8-19  8-14 40  14 18   66

    Post-game links follow below.

  • GUHoyas.com
  • VUCommodores.com
  • Assoc. Press
  • Asbury Park Press
  • Asbury Park Press (2)
  • Bergen Record
  • Bergen Record (2)
  • Bridgewater C-N
  • CBS Sportsline
  • Hartford Courant
  • Hartford Courant (2)
  • The HOYA
  • Inside Vandy.com
  • LA Times
  • N'ville City Paper
  • Newark S-L
  • Newark S-L (2)
  • Newark S-L (3)
  • Newark S-L (4)
  • NY Daily News
  • NY Post
  • NY Post (2)
  • NY Times
  • NY Times (2)
  • Phila. Daily News
  • Phila. Inquirer
  • Princeton Basketball.com
  • Raleigh N&O
  • USA Today
  • Wash. Post
  • Wash. Post (2)
  • Wash. Post (3)
  • Wash. Times
  • Wash. Times (2)
  • Wash. Times (3)
  • Yahoo Sports
    Green's Move Not A Violation 3/24/07

    Much was made, on TV at least, that Jeff Green's twisting shot in the final seconds was somehow traveling. CBS' Seth Davis and Clark Kellogg pulled up some grainy videotape (which looked like something off the Internet) to make their point, while ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb (unable to use the footage due to CBS copyright restrictions) flatly called it a traveling to his audience.

    Both were wrong.

    Rule 4, Section 66 of the NCAA rule book clearly notes that "A player who catches the ball with both feet on the playing court may pivot, using either foot. When one foot is lifted, the other is the pivot foot...After coming to a stop and establishing the pivot foot, the pivot foot may be lifted, but not returned to the playing court, before the ball is released on a pass or try for goal." As noted in this HoyaTalk board thread, the pivot foot never came back down until the shot was taken. Post-game comments by CBS' Billy Packer also support this position.

    For a detailed discussion of the rule and comments on CBS' mistake, visit this link to Officiating.com.

    "It's Gotta Be The Shoes..." 3/24/07

    Some Georgetown fans might have noticed a change in the Hoyas out of halftime of the Vanderbilt game--not just their attitude, but their footwear. This article from The HOYA discusses a new pair of Nike shoes ditched at halftime of the game and the return of the soles that will battle the Heels Sunday.

    Esherick Looks Back 3/22/07

    In his first national interview since his firing in 2004, former head coach Craig Esherick (B'78, L'82) looks back favorably at the group of recruits that have matured into the current team's star players.

    "No question about it, I definitely have a sense of pride that they're doing so well and that they've had such good careers," said Esherick in this link to the Associated Press on the development of juniors Roy Hibbert, Jeff Green, and Tyler Crawford, recruited in 2004. "I'm certainly very happy for all three of them."

    A Georgetown player and coach for 28 seasons, Esherick has distanced himself from the University in the intervening years. He declined invitations to attend the school's 100th anniversary festivities this past February.

    When asked by the AP about the circumstances of his firing, he responded that "The best way to answer that is I've moved on."

    Harris Poll: #7 3/21/07

    A Harris poll taken last week lists Georgetown as the nation's 7th most popular basketball team.

    The poll of 2,223 adults, with a statistical error of +/-2%, lists Georgetown seventh, its first placement in the poll since 1996. Eight of the top ten played in this year's NCAA tournament, with four of the remaining 16 represented in the poll, which was conducted before the beginning of the tournament.

    The results are listed below, with a school's 2006 ranking in parentheses.

    1. North Carolina (2)
    2. Duke (1)
    3. Ohio State (4)
    4. Kentucky (NR)
    5. UCLA (8)
    6. Texas (7)
    7. Georgetown (NR)
    8. Michigan (NR)
    9. Indiana (9)
    10. Syracuse (6)
    More On The Sweet 16 3/21/07

    Continuing the look at the 16 schools which began Monday, Georgetown is one of four private schools among the Sweet 16. Here's a look at some data per the U.S. Department of Education web site, including full time enrollment (FTE's) and athletics budgets.

    Georgetown's athletic program will never be the size of Ohio State, of course, but for it to continue to develop into a consistent national contender, men's basketball will be at the forefront.

    School FTE's Revenues* Expenses
    Ohio St. 33,817 $104,704,852 $101,804,852
    Florida 31,742 $82,389,813 $78,177,774
    Texas A&M 36,066 $70,923,550 $61,519,534
    Tennessee 18,739 $69,922,919 $66,165,791
    USC 16,897 $65,434,875 $65,434,875
    Kansas 21,391 $62,985,486 $47,554,572
    North Carolina 16,304 $54,100,487 $53,753,891
    UCLA 22,271 $52,066,786 $52,049,868
    Oregon 14,649 $45,116,269 $44,630,102
    Vanderbilt 6,402 $40,373,883 $40,373,883
    Pittsburgh 14,886 $33,170,296 $33,170,296
    Memphis 11,403 $27,155,528 $27,155,528
    UNLV 15,823 $23,622,540 $23,622,540
    Georgetown 6,358 $23,605,054 $23,605,054
    S. Illinois 14,958 $11,722,228 $9,703,501
    Butler 3,829 $9,603,605 $9,603,605
    * Revenues may include scholarship support, student activity fees or other university funding.

    All of the schools play Division I college football, but football is a revenue generator only at the 13 bowl-eligible (I-A) schools, where TV revenues help to fund improvements in facilities and scholarship support. Conversely, the three I-AA schools have the lowest football revenues among the schools.

    School Football Rev. % of Revenues
    Ohio St. $60,773,537 58.0%
    Florida $48,194,552 58.5%
    Texas A&M $36,086,026 50.9%
    USC $27,777,249 42.5%
    Tennessee $27,732,427 39.7%
    Pittsburgh $19,768,430 59.6%
    UCLA $19,601,067 37.6%
    Oregon $18,739,177 41.5%
    North Carolina $17,407,010 32.2%
    Vanderbilt $15,132,937 37.5%
    Kansas $11,603,739 18.4%
    Memphis $5,098,671 18.8%
    UNLV $2,122,421 9.0%
    S. Illinois (I-AA) $844,733 7.2%
    Butler (I-AA) $427,607 4.5%
    Georgetown (I-AA) $405,601 1.7%

    In terms of basketball revenues, Georgetown fares better, with revenues in the middle of the pack:

    School Basketball Rev. % of Revenues
    North Carolina $17,216,083 31.8%
    Ohio St. $12,080,021 11.5%
    Kansas $11,217,339 17.8%
    UCLA $8,526,363 16.3%
    Pittsburgh $7,663,685 23.1%
    Florida $6,815,709 8.3%
    Tennessee $6,582,698 9.4%
    Vanderbilt $6,286,708 15.6%
    Georgetown $6,108,525 25.9%
    Texas A&M $6,095,768 8.6%
    UNLV $5,198,800 22.0%
    Memphis $4,658,696 17.2%
    Oregon $4,282,962 9.5%
    USC $2,400,797 3.7%
    Butler $1,228,643 12.8%
    S. Illinois $1,135,677 9.7%

    Finally, here are the 16 schools ranked by average attendance. Georgetown is one of only two schools among the 16 playing games in an off-campus arena.

    School Arena
    On Campus?
    Pct. Of
    N. Carolina Yes 20,693 95.1%
    Tennessee Yes 19,661 80.1%
    Ohio St. Yes 17,530 91.3%
    Kansas Yes 16,300 100.0%
    Memphis No 14,527 79.9%
    Vanderbilt Yes 11,958 84.4%
    Florida Yes 11,828 98.5%
    Pittsburgh Yes 11,611 92.8%
    UNLV Yes 11,354 60.5%
    UCLA Yes 10,428 81.3%
    Georgetown No 10,441 50.9%
    Texas A&M Yes 9,812 78.5%
    Oregon Yes 8,421 92.7%
    S. Illinois Yes 7,743 80.4%
    Butler Yes 5,734 51.9%
    USC Yes 5,298 51.6%
    2008 NCAA Ticket Information 3/20/07

    Ticket applications for the 2008 NCAA first and second round games at Verizon Center are now available, per this release from GUHoyas.com. Applications are due no later than April 9.

    Please note that as the host school, Georgetown will not be eligible to play at Verizon Center for these games.

    Meet The Sweet 16 3/19/07

    For the first time since 1995, not one of the double-digit seeds has advanced to the regional round of 16 in this year's NCAA tournament. In fact, this year's regionals will feature no seed lower than seven, with the conference champions of all six major conferences (Big East, ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC, Pac-10) still in the race. Of the top 12 seeds (#1 through #3) entering the tournament, ten remain.

    Here's a look at some various statistics on the schools, starting with results by conference:

    Conference (# in tourney) # In Regionals
    ACC (7) 1 (UNC)
    Pac-10 (6) 3 (UCLA, USC, Oregon)
    Big East (6) 2 (Georgetown, Pittsburgh)
    Big Ten (6) 1 (Ohio St.)
    Southeastern (5) 3 (Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt)
    Big 12 (4) 2 (Kansas, Texas A&M)
    Atlantic 10 (2) None
    Colonial (2) None
    Horizon (2) 1 (Butler)
    Missouri Valley (2) 1 (S. Illinois)
    Mountain West (2) 1 (UNLV)
    WAC (2) None
    All others (19) 1 (Memphis)

    Next, a review of each team's records and end of regular season RPI ratings:

    Team Record AP RPI Streak Vs. Top 50 Last  Regional
    East Regional
    1-N. Carolina 30-6 4 3 W6 13-3 2005
    5-USC 25-11 23 41 W2 7-6 2001
    2-Georgetown 28-6 8 9 W6 11-6 2006
    6-Vanderbilt 21-11 -- 47 W2 6-5 2004
    South Regional
    1-Ohio St. 32-3 1 1 W19 11-3 1999
    5-Tennessee 24-10 25 12 W2 8-6 2000
    2-Texas A&M 27-6 9 17 W2 3-2 1980
    3-Memphis 32-3 5 8 W24 1-2 2006
    West Regional
    1-Kansas 31-4 2 11 W12 5-1 2004
    4-S. Illinois 28-6 14 7 W2 8-6 2000
    2-UCLA 28-5 7 2 W2 10-6 2006
    3-Pitt 29-7 12 5 W2 9-6 2006
    Midwest Regional
    1-Florida 31-5 3 6 W6 9-4 2006
    5-Butler 29-6 21 27 W2 6-1 2003
    3-Oregon 28-7 10 21 W8 7-4 2002
    7-UNLV 29-6 19 10 W9 5-3 1991
    Georgetown 62, Boston College 55 3/18/07

    Roy Hibbert scored 15 second half points as the Georgetown Hoyas muscled its way to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament, eliminating Boston College 62-55 before 14,148 in Winston-Salem, NC Saturday. The game earned Georgetown its 11th bid to the NCAA round of 16 in its history, and the first back to back regional appearances in 11 years.

    Georgetown was able to advance by picking up key plays at the beginning, middle, and end of the game, and weathering the storms in between. The Hoyas opened the game on a 12-2 run, with three blocks and forcing the Eagles into 1-7 shooting. BC adjusted from a man to man to a 2-3 zone defense, and the move impacted the Hoyas almost immediately. Roy Hibbert picked up two fouls within 23 seconds with the Hoyas up eight, 12-4, and failed to be a major factor thereafter in the first half. Jeff Green picked up his second foul midway through the half, at which point Georgetown had missed seven of its eight attempts and saw BC close to 17-11.

    A Jon Wallace jumper gave Georgetown a 19-14 lead with 9:57 to play, but it was to be the last Georgetown basket for the next four minutes. BC guard Tyrese Rice took over the Eagles' offense. Rice scored eight points over the Eagles' next three possessions to take the lead, 22-21, extended to three at 24-21 before dajuan Summers answered with a Georgetown three, 24-24. Sean marshall added a basket for BC, followed by a steal and basket for Rice, 28-24. At halftime, three Eagles (Tyrese Rice, Sean marshall, Jared Dudley) had accounted for all but six points as the Eagles took a 30-26 lead at intermission.

    Georgetown continued to look tentative on offense in the early moments of the half. The Eagles opened the half 3-3 while Georgetown was 1-6, and following a Rice three pointer at the 15:24 mark, BC led by eight, 39-31. The Hoyas' turnaround began early in the half, as they rediscovered the offensive rebound and punished the thinner BC front line to claw their way back.

    The Hoyas began their move with just under 15:00 to play. Fouled going to the basket, Wallace made the first free throw but missed the second, but Jeff Green picked up the offensive rebound for the score, 39-34. Off a BC miss, Wallace hit a three, 39-37, and Jessie Sapp added two free throws to tie the score with 12:44 to play, 39-39. In the first eight minutes of the second half, Georgetown had outrebounded BC 7-0 on the offensive boards.

    Much of the next seven minutes was spent exchanging the lead. The Hoyas took the lead for good, 46-44 on an offensive rebound and putback by Hibbert, but BC never gave up. Off a BC miss, Georgetown looked to go inside, but off the miss, Jeff Green soared to the basket for the rebound and the dunk, 48-44. The TV highlight was the 14th point Georgetown had earned on second chance points in the game compared to just two for the Eagles.

    Tensions were tight as well. After Jessie Sapp had locked down BC forward Jared Dudley on a play that was eventually converted by forward Tyrelle Blair, the 6-7 Dudley went nose to nose to intimidate the 6-2 Sapp after the play. Sapp would have none of it, and the two stared each other down until officials intervened and assessed double technical fouls against both, though nothing further became of it. On the succeeding possession, Georgetown went inside to Hibbert for the basket, 50-46.

    Rice answered Hibbert with a three pointer, 50-49, with 5:13 to play. Georgetown worked the clock down on its next drive and in a key sequence, Patrick Ewing alertly got the ball inside to Hibbert as the shot clock wound to zero, 52-49. Ironically, on the next series, BC did just the same, with a shot clock beater inside, 52-51.

    Again, Georgetown went inside to Hibbert, 54-53. BC answered with two Rice free throws, 54-53. Off a missed three pointer by Jonathan Wallace, BC looked to take the lead with 2:30 to play, but Jessie Sapp stole a front court pass and drove the length of the floor for the basket, 56-53. In its next series, Sean Marshall missed a jumper, and Georgetown ran down the clock again, where Jeff Green picked up yet another offensive rebound for the basket, 59-53, with 1:26 to play.

    A pair of BC free throws closed the lead to four, 59-55, with 1:16 to play, but Georgetown again worked the clock, where Hibbert drew in the BC defenders only to pass the ball down the baseline to a streaking Patrick Ewing for a reverse jam with 0:42 to play, 62-55.

    "I have a checklist to see what time on the shot clock I can make a move or if I am open to the basket, and I want to make my move as they were collapsing down, " said Hibbert. "I saw Patrick was open so I could make a pass to him, and I am happy he finished it, to tell you the truth."

    "That was a Big East game - physical, very physical," said Green. Despite shooting just 38 percent for the game, "we had to gut it out. We were down four at halftime, and had to come out and take what they gave us. We made a few good plays and won the game."

    With Jonathan Wallace carrying the Hoyas in the first half (11 of the team's 26 points), it was Roy Hibbert who took over in the second, with 15 second half points.

    "He was being a little too tentative," said coach John Thompson III in post-game comments. "I am not sure how many turnovers he had [in the first half] from just fumbling and dropping the ball so I said 'Relax, big fellow, because we are going to come to you.' That was a discussion I had at the latter part of the first half and he responded to it and came out and was a lot more aggressive in terms of not just when he got the ball but before he got the ball."

    Hibbert led the Hoyas with 17 points and 12 rebounds, followed by 15 from Wallace and an 11 point, 12 rebound effort from Green. Following the early two fouls on both Green and Hibbert, neither picked up a foul thereafter, allowing the two to play a combined 70 minutes together on the court.

    Tyrese Rice and Jared Dudley finished with 41 of the Eagles' 55 points, but the team as a whole shot only 31% in the second half and missed eight of ten from three point range. Forward Sean Marshall, who had scored 21 against Texas Tech, was held to nine points on 4-15 shooting.

    Boston College, which left the Big East in 2004 for the ACC, has lost three straight to Big East opponents since leaving, including losses in each of the last two NCAA tournaments, and the bad blood did not go away after this game.

    "I thought maybe one person really played well on their team," said Dudley, who had stirred up plenty of media attention earlier in the week by asserting playing in the the ACC was clearly superior to the Big East. "They didn't shoot the ball that well, except for maybe Hibbert and Wallace."

    Georgetown steered clear of much of Dudley's talk, but Jeff Green did have a parting thought, as noted by The HOYA.

    "Those comments that he made before the game, he can't say anything now because we got the 'W' on them, said Green. "They don’t bother me at all now... we won."

    Fifteen other Big East teams would surely agree.

    Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

             MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
    Wallace   37   3-4   2-3   3-6   1   2  1   15 
    Sapp      39   3-7   0-3   2-2   3   3  3    8 
    Summers   21   1-2   1-6   0-0   4   1  2    5 
    Green     36  4-10   0-2   3-3  12   2  2   11 
    Hibbert   34  6-12   0-0   5-7  12   1  2   17 
    Rivers     4   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0
    Crawford   2   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  1    0
    Ewing      6   1-1   1-2   1-1   4   3  3    6
    Team Rebounds                    1
    DNP: Macklin, Izzo, Spann, Dizdarevic
    TOTALS   200 18-36   4-16 14-19 38  12 14   62

    Post-game articles follow below.

    Georgetown 80, Belmont 55 3/16/07

    The #2 seeded Georgetown Hoyas rebounded from a slow start to run past the #15 seeded Belmont Bruins, 80-55, in first round action at Winston Salem, NC. Thursday.

    The Hoyas started off ragged, giving up turnovers in three straight possessions and watching the unheralded Bruins take an 11-4 to the delight of the Belmont crowd at the game. Any hopes of "shocking the world" were short lived as Georgetown went to work soon thereafter. Belmont failed to score over its next ten possessions, while Jessie Sapp keyed an 11-0 run over the next four minutes. The Hoyas took a lead it would not relinquish, and led by nine, 24-15, when both Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert went to the bench with two fouls each. Belmont was unable to capitalize, as Sapp went to work once again, hitting two more threes to extended the lead to 30-18, with the Hoyas enjoying a 13 point halftime lead, 38-25.

    "We've been in situations like before that in the past where the whole arena is going against us," said Roy Hibbert, who finished with 10 points in the game. "We didn't get flustered. We did a good job this year not getting flustered when teams get up on us."

    The Bruins managed only three points in the first seven minutes as a result of poor outside shooting, and by that time Georgetown owned a 19 point lead. A Sapp three with 13:23 to play gave Georgetown a 20 point lead, 49-29, and the lead never dipped below that thereafter. Coach Thompson emptied the bench at game's end following a strong effort on both sides of the court.

    Sapp's career high 20 points on 8-10 shooting was a bit unexpected to Belmont coach Rick Byrd, given Sapp's scoring troubles as of late.

    "You don’t expect a 28-percent shooter [to score 20],” said Byrd. “Somebody is going to have to play awfully well to beat them," Byrd said.

    The Hoyas shot 61% in the second half and 55% overall, holding the Bruins to just 32% shooting in the second half and 3 for 18 from three point range after halftime. The Georgetown bench added 23 points, its most since December.

    Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

             MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
    Wallace   30   0-2   2-4   0-0   3   2  1    6 
    Sapp      33   4-4   4-6   0-0   6   1  0   20 
    Summers   30   2-6   0-3   2-3   4   2  2    6 
    Green     23   6-8   0-1   3-4   3   0  3   15
    Hibbert   22   4-10  0-0   2-3  13   4  3   10
    Macklin    9   2-2   0-0   4-5   4   0  2    8
    Izzo       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
    Rivers    18   1-1   0-0   1-2   1   7  0    3
    Crawford  13   0-0   1-1   0-0   0   0  2    3
    Spann      2   1-1   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    2
    Ewing     17   2-3   0-1   1-1   4   1  2    5
    Dizdarevic 1   0-0   0-0   2-2   1   0  1    2
    Team Rebounds                    0
    DNP: Spann
    TOTALS   200 22-37   7-16 15-20 39  17 16   80

    Additional links follow below.

    Six Years Ago... 3/15/07

    Where were you six years ago Thursday? John Hawkes remembers, and discusses his thoughts in this column linking Georgetown's 63-61 win over Arkansas in the 2001 NCAA's to this year's team.

    "There have been a number of great moments this season for Georgetown fans-and hopefully many more to come. Chances are none of them will be as heart-stopping as Nat Burton's last-second layup in an NCAA Tournament game," he writes. "But if this season thus far has been any indication, these Hoyas will likely provide us with many more chances to get together with our extended family of Hoya fans-and with that comes the opportunity for many great memories indeed."

    HOYA Tournament Section Update 3/15/07

    In addition to the links above, The HOYA has published an extensive set of feature articles surrounding the NCAA tournament. Check it out.

    100th Anniversary DVD Announced 3/13/07

    Following the successful 100th anniversary weekend festivities last month, Georgetown has announced the debut of a DVD in honor of the anniversary. "This commemorative video includes a historical documentary on the vintage, classic and modern eras of Hoya Hoops, exclusive interviews with former players and coaches, additional director's extras and special highlights of the Gala celebration," reads a news release on the project.

    For details on how to pre-order the video, please visit this link at GUHoyas.com.

    Ewing's Locker 3/13/07

    When Georgetown was assigned its locker room space in last week's Big East tournament, forward Patrick Ewing Jr. knew just where to go--he headed straight for the locker once used by his father during his long career with the New York Knickerbockers, according to this Bloomberg online column.

    "I told my roommate, Jessie Sapp, that I'm getting to the locker room first and that no one can have that locker," Ewing said.

    Both the elder John Thompson and Patrick Ewing were at the tournament last week to cheer on their sons.

    "It's harder for my dad, and I would go out on a limb and say his dad, than it is for Patrick or myself," said coach John Thompson III. "I've been John Thompson's son all my life and had people yell and scream and holler things about my dad. He's been Patrick Ewing's son all his life and had people yell and scream and holler about his dad. Now, for the first time, those two have got people yelling, screaming and hollering things about their kids."

    NCAA Pairings Announced 3/12/07

    Georgetown will open the 2007 NCAA tournament as the #2 seed in the East Region. One of three DC-area teams selected and among six Big East selections, the Hoyas will play in Winston-Salem, NC Thursday versus the #15 seed, Belmont (23-9), who won the automatic bid from the Atlantic Sun conference. It is the first meeting between the schools. The winner of the Georgetown-Belmont game will face the winner of #7 seed Boston College (20-11) vs. #10 seed Texas Tech (21-12) on Saturday.

    Georgetown's impressive performance in the 2007 Big East tournament has won its share of fans for the Hoyas heading into the bracket. Locally, Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon likes the Hoyas: "Nobody else has the talent, intelligence, discipline, depth, size, experience and balance of Georgetown. And nobody, this season anyway, has been better coached", he writes in Monday's Washington Post.

    Coach Thompson is not looking ahead, however.

    "We have to play Belmont on Thursday. And we're not looking at the path," he said. "We're looking at the next game. It's worked pretty well for us thus far, taking that approach, and we're not going to change that now."

    Extensive coverage follows nationally on the brackets and the various teams. Selected links are found below.

    Big East NCAA Bids 3/13/07

    With a selection that favored schools in other major conference, the Big East suffered in seeding and in number, with only six selections in the tournament, down from eight in 2006.

    The most notable omission was Syracuse, who was left out of the tournament for the first time since 2002 after a quarterfinal loss in the Big East tournament to Notre Dame.

    "I would imagine that we're one of the few, if not the only team ever in a BCS conference with a 10-win (in-league) season that did not get in the NCAA Tournament," coach Jim Boeheim told the Syracuse Post Standard. "I have no way of knowing why we're not in the tournament. It's beyond me.

    "I don't agree with all the experts. But every single one of them had us in the Tournament. Every single one. No one of all the people who prognosticate these things had Syracuse out of the Tournament. Not one."

    Here's a recap of the Big East teams selected in the NCAA:

    Seed Team Record RPI Next Opponent
    2 (East) Georgetown 26-6 9 #15 Belmont (23-9)
    3 (West) Pittsburgh 27-7 5 #14 Wright St. (23-9)
    6 (Midwest) Notre Dame 24-7 31 #11 Winthrop (24-4)
    6 (South) Louisville 22-9 37 #11 Stanford (18-12)
    8 (East) Marquette 23-9 22 #9 Michigan St (22-11)
    9 (West) Villanova 21-10 19 #8 Kentucky (21-11)
    Big East NIT Bids 3/13/07

    The downward pressure on the Big East's NCAA bids affected the NIT seedings as well.

    Following the NIT's acquisition by the NCAA, the NIT field has been reduced to 32 and expanded to include automatic bids for regular season conference champions who did not earn an NCAA bid. No longer a home solely for those available schools with the largest fan bases, the field has omitted two Big East schools which, in previous years, would have been automatic picks with a record above .500: Connecticut (17-14) and St. John's (16-15).

    "I didn't think it was hard to do the math that [Syracuse and West Virginia] plus Providence and DePaul would all be ahead of us to go to the NIT," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun told the Hartford Courant. " I didn't expect any surprises, and we didn't get any."

    With the omission, Connecticut misses the post-season for the first time since the 1986-87 season.

    Here's a recap of the Big East teams selected in the NIT:

    Seed Team Record RPI Next Opponent
    1 (East) W. Virginia 22-9 57 #8 Delaware St. (21-12)
    2 (South) Syracuse 22-10 50 #7 S. Alabama (20-11)
    3 (West) DePaul 18-13 68 #6 Hofstra (22-9)
    5 (East) Providence 18-12 76 #4 Bradley (21-12)
    Georgetown 65, Pittsburgh 42 3/11/07

    A year ago, the popular "We Are Georgetown" t-shirts carried this message to Big East foes:

    Respect is Back
    Fear Is Next

    Well, the Fear has arrived, and the college basketball community has taken notice.

    Before a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden and a prime time audience on ESPN, Georgetown won its first Big East title since 1989 in a stunning 23 point margin over a #13-ranked Pittsburgh team widely regarded as one of the best in the nation, 65-42. A game thought by many to be a toss-up given the relative strengths of the teams entering Saturday's final, the game marked the fewest points ever allowed in a Big East title game, the second largest margin of victory in a title game, the largest margin of defeat by a Pitt team in seven years, and the fewest points scored by a Pittsburgh team since 1969.

    Early indications foretold the troubles awaiting the Panthers. Pitt opened with a jumper for a 2-0 lead, but missed its next four jump shots, three of which came from All-America candidate Aaron Gray from close range. Gray's inability to get past Roy Hibbert formed the subplot of the game, for without Gray's inside the game, Pitt's secondary options began to struggle.

    Georgetown opened an 8-4 lead at the first TV time out and led by five before Pitt's Levon Kendall rallied the large Pitt contingent with a three to close to 13-11 midway through the half. As they did so well all night, Georgetown never surrendered momentum. Following Kendall's three, Jeff Green floated across the lane with an left-handed hook shot to to lead 15-11. Pitt answered to cut the lad to 15-13, but Georgetown answered with a driving shot by Jeremiah Rivers, 17-13.

    Pitt tried to go inside, and Gray was missing shots at close range. Two missed shots and a missed layup by Sam Young were answered by a Roy Hibbert dunk and a Jessie Sapp layup, 21-13. Seeking a spurt from the outside, the often steady Ronald Ramon missed a three with five minutes to play, then saw Dajuan Summers answer with a three of his own, 24-13. Summers added to Pitt's apoplexy with a steal on the next series and a layup, 26-13. With four minutes to play, the Hoyas had outscored Pitt 11-0.

    As has been the case in many games, the final four minutes and first foul of the second half would prove a crucial test to see if Georgetown could hold a lead. The Hoyas passed both with flying colors.

    Off a pair of missed close-in shots by Gray, Georgetown answered with a inside pass to Hibbert, who muscled past Gray for the dunk, 28-13. Pitt ended its five minute scoring drought on the next play, but saw Hibbert score the final four of the half to take a 32-17 lead at the break. Hibbert finished the half 7 for 8, Gray 0 for 9.

    If the Panthers were going to make a run, the first four minutes of the second half would be the turning point, much as Villanova was able to eat into Georgetown's 19 point halftime lead on Thursday or how Pitt turned the tables on Louisville in the second semifinal Friday. The lessons learned from its unsettling quarterfinal were taken to heart by the Hoyas, who never gave Pitt the hope of a comeback, and exerted a second half defensive effort that shone more brightly than in the first half.

    The Panthers opened the second half with a jumper to close to 13, but Georgetown answered with four straight free throws off interior fouls by Pitt. An Antonio Graves layup closed back to 15, but Jonathan Wallace delivered the first of three knockout punches in the second half with a long three to extend the lead to 18 at the 16:00 time out. Pitt closed back to 13 four minutes later, but Wallace answered with a three with 10:15 to play, 48-32. On Pitt's next possession, Pitt's Keith Benjamin missed a promising jumper that Jessie Sapp promptly fed to Wallace for a third volley, 51-32, with 9:32 to play.

    If the national television audience was skipping ahead to the inevitable conclusion, those in attendance were not, mindful of the late game indigestion which had preceded the Hoyas in the prior two games. Yet Georgetown continued to prove resilient to any Pitt offensive pressure whatsoever, utilizing a spirited perimeter defense with an interior lockdown on Gray and Kendall. Pitt missed from far and near; when they did score, Georgetown answered the score soon thereafter and Pitt could never catch up. Trapped in a quicksand, they more they struggled, the deeper they fell.

    A Jeff Green three increased the lead to 58-34 with 4:09 left. Pitt added two more free throws, and Hibbert promptly answered with a dunk. Sam Young hit a jumper, and Dajuan Summers matched it. Following a pair of missed shots by Pitt, Jeff Green was fouled with 1:24 left, with the Hoyas up 24. Twelve seconds later, the on-court arrival Octavious Spann, Sead Dizdarevic, and Kenny Izzo signaled the start of the celebration which was to follow. For a Georgetown crowd unaccustomed as of late to such a scene, the cheers were as loud any any over the last 18 years, and certainly in the last three, where John Thompson III and his staff has engineered a turnaround unlike few others in recent college basketball history, and capped it off against a formidable foes few could have ever guessed would be looking up at a 23 point defeat in the conference final.

    For the Panthers, Gray finished 1 of 13, a career low. His dejected looks upon going to and from the Pitt bench were a visible sign of a good team where nothing was going right, but also a realization that Georgetown had done so many things right to put Pitt in the situation it faced.

    "I think it's just one of those days where things didn't go well [for Gray]," said Pit coach Jamie Dixon. "This is the same team -- Georgetown just lost up at Syracuse by a large margin and then they looked this good tonight. Some teams you just can't explain and I think that's a good comparison right there. We looked so got last two days, and obviously didn't look very good tonight."

    Pitt shot 24% in the first half, 28% in the second. No starter had more than two field goals, and despite only nine turnovers, Pitt simply hit a wall. A stone wall.

    "We're both competing out there, going extremely hard," Hibbert said about Gray. "I just told him, 'Good work out there. You're a really good player.' And we'll see him again, hopefully, if we keep working."

    "We're not on top yet," said Green, named the tournament's outstanding player. "We have to keep our composure, stay focused and take it one game at a time, and start looking at what we have to do tomorrow during Selection Sunday."

    At game's end, it was a happy John Thompson III leading the student section into cheers of "We Are Georgetown" atop a ladder adjacent to the north basket, with hugs all around from players, alumni, and coaches. The band led cheers that spilled onto the Garden promenade facing Seventh Avenue at midnight, which continued across the street well into the wee hours at the Affinia (nee Southgate) Hotel among fans from 18 to 80.

    Amidst a cold and unforgiving rain that fell on midtown Manhattan into the early morning, few seemed to mind. And why not--there was nothing but blue skies for Georgetown that night.

    Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

             MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
    Wallace   35   0-1   3-4   0-0   3   2  3    9 
    Sapp      35   2-2   0-2   2-2   3   4  1    6 
    Summers   33   2-7   1-3   2-2   6   2  5    9 
    Green     37   5-10  1-2   8-10  5   2  1   21
    Hibbert   31   8-10  0-0   2-4  11   0  3   18
    Macklin    2   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
    Izzo       1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
    Rivers     7   1-1   0-1   0-0   1   0  1    2
    Crawford   1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
    Spann      1   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  0    0
    Ewing     15   0-1   0-0   0-0   3   1  1    0
    Dizdarevic 1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
    Team Rebounds                    5
    DNP: Spann
    TOTALS   200 18-32   5-12 14-18 38  11 15   65

    Post-game articles follow below.

    Georgetown 84, Notre Dame 82 3/11/07

    In the town that has inspired more than a few super heroes, the mild mannered Jeff Green became a real life hero Friday night in Georgetown's 84-82 battle over Notre Dame, advancing the Hoyas into the Big East conference finals for the first time in 11 years.

    Georgetown's reach for the final defied convention, as Georgetown not only had to come from behind to do so, but rely on Green to carry the team on his shoulders in a 30 point performance that Green said he had never done before-- college, high school, anywhere.

    Notre Dame opened its Big East tournament run with a 89-83 grinder against Syracuse, ending a nine game win streak by the Orangemen in Big East play and putting its NCAA hopes in what would prove to be a fateful balance. ND had previously struggled inside against the Hoyas in their January meeting, and opened this game with a volley of three point attempts. From a 2-2 tie in the first two minutes, the Irish hit three straight threes to go up 11-4. The Hoyas closed to four at 15-11 when super-frosh Tory Jackson reignited the Irish with a jumper, 17-10, and senior Russell Carter soon added another ND three, 20-13.

    Georgetown's attempt to match ND's long range accuracy were failing, and after there straight misses by the Hoyas, ND went inside for a Zach Hillesland layup, 22-13. Following a Patrick Ewing Jr. dunk, ND went back outside yet again, 25-15, and when Carter hit an open jumper with 6:37 left, ND led by 14, 37-23.

    The Georgetown style of offense is not well suited for quick comebacks, but even those expecting to see the lead narrow to single digits had to be more than a bit surprised by the chain of events towards the end of the first half.

    Down 14, Dajuan Summers picked up a dunk off an offensive rebound, 37-25. After two offensive rebounds by the Irish, the Hoya defense held, and on the next series Green began to step it up. Green converted the old fashioned three point from a inside foul to close to nine, 37-28. Green missed a jumper on the next series, but returned with a jumper to close the lead to eight at the 3:18 mark. After a pair of ND free throws built the lead back to ten, 44-34, the Hoyas caught fire, outscoring Notre Dame 10-2 to end the half, as part of a run where the Hoyas made eight consecutive free throws in the final 2:33 and 12 of 13 for the half. The surprising 14 point lead had met an even more surprising two point gap at halftime.

    If the first half was the stuff of long range artillery, the second half was trench warfare. For the first fourteen minutes of the second half, no team led by more than four, and there were 13 lead changes overall. The Irish took its biggest lead of the half at four, 59-55, answered by a Green free throw and a Jon Wallace three with just under 15 minutes to play, 59-59. A Jessie Sapp three gave Georgetown a brief lead, but the game was tied three minutes later, 64-64, and four minutes thereafter, 67-67.

    From a two point deficit in the final seven minutes, Green rose to the occasion. Green scored seven of the Hoyas' next nine to build a 76-69 lead with 5:01 to play, the kind of lead that Georgetown is capable of holding. ND would have none of it, however, and freshman Tory Jackson rallied the Irish legions with his own run, scoring on three consecutive possessions to tie the score at 76-all with 3:22 left. Following a Dajuan Summers foul, ND's Rob Kurz sank two free throws and the Irish held a two point lead, 78-76.

    On its next two series, Georgetown answered with baskets from Jonathan Wallace and Roy Hibbert, 80-78, with 1:59 to play. Jackson was fouled on his next possession, but missed one of two free throws, 80-79, answered by two Dajuan Summers free throws, 82-79. A questionable foul call on Hibbert under the basket sent ND's Luke Harangody to the line, but he missed one of two, 82-80, but off a Georgetown turnover in the corner, Jackson drove for the tying score with 42 seconds to play, 82-82.

    Holding for its last shot, Georgetown looked to get the ball to Green. With the eyes of the Garden upon him, Green drove across the lane and let off a twisting shot as Harangody fouled him with :14 to play, hitting the basket and sending the multi-partisan Garden crowd into a roar, 84-82.

    Green missed the free throw, setting up the Irish for a game tying (or game winning) play. At the top of the key, Russell Carter got open, but his shot sailed right. Off the rebound, Jonathan Wallace alertly threw the ball high into the air, running out the clock.

    Green played all 40 minutes and finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds, off 9-21 shooting and 12-14 from the line. Key contributions came from Dajuan Summers with 18 and Patrick Ewing with 15, while Roy Hibbert scored only six points before fouling out. Defensively, the Hoyas really turned things around on the perimeter: after ND hit eight of its first 12 threes in the first fifteen minutes of the first half, they hit only two of its next 14 attempts. Georgetown's 85% free throw shooting (17-20) was also a difference maker.

    "Jeff wasn't gonna let us lose, and we rode him to the end of the game," said Patrick Ewing Jr. in post game comments.

    "The performance Jeff Green put on today was special," said coach Thompson. "We could have caved on several occasions from the beginning of the game midway through the second half, and we fought, we hung in there together. We tried to figure a few things out together. And then at the end of the day, great players make plays, and Jeff did that."

    The win was Georgetown's fourth in a row against Notre Dame, which is 4-12 all time in Big East tournament action. In a quote in the South Bend Tribune, ND athletic director Kevin White compared the semifinal to the epic 2005 football game between Notre Dame and Southern California.

    Maybe so, but for the Hoyas, it's simply time to "Fight On".

    Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

             MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
    Wallace   36   2-2   2-6   0-0   1   5  2   10 
    Sapp      26   1-2   1-2   0-0   2   4  2    5 
    Summers   31   4-5   2-5   4-4   4   4  4   18 
    Green     40   9-20  0-1  12-14 12   3  2   30
    Hibbert   21   3-4   0-0   0-0   4   1  5    6
    Rivers    13   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  1    0
    Crawford   5   0-0   0-1   0-0   1   0  0    0
    Ewing     28  7-11   0-0   1-2   2   0  3   15 
    Team Rebounds                    7
    DNP: Macklin, Izzo, Spann, Dizdarevic
    TOTALS   200 26-44   5-15 17-20 34  17 19   84

    Post game links follow below.

    Georgetown 62, Villanova 57 3/11/07

    If there was one team that could derail the #1 seed in the 2007 Big East tournament, Villanova was it. And had it not been for the first ten minutes of the first half, Georgetown's trip to New York might have ended two days early.

    A dangerous Villanova team erased a 24 point first half deficit and came up just short in a 62-57 loss to the top seeded Hoyas in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament. The game featured an unprecedented Georgetown run to open the game, followed by a comeback that (nearly) made history for the Wildcats.

    Georgetown opened the game with a fury, scoring the first 14 points of the game and leading 26-2 with 9:36 to play. Everything was working for the Hoyas, who shot as much as 67% in the first half before finishing with 55% at the break. Villanova could do nothing early, and one fan summed it up when Villanova hit a basket to close to 32-10, shouted, "Double digits--here we come!"

    The words were oddly prophetic.

    Following a Jeff Green three to increase the lead to 35-10 with 4:54 to play, the Wildcats held the Hoyas without a field goal for the next four minutes, and battled back to take a 19 point deficit into intermission, 37-18. In the opening seven minutes of the second half, Georgetown was ineffective from inside, where Roy Hibbert had feasted on the Cats early in the game. The Hoyas managed just one field goal over the first seven minutes, as the cats clawed the lead down from 19, to 14 with 17:55 to play, to 13 at the first TV time out, and to ten 39-29, with 14 minutes to play.

    Georgetown answered the run with a volley of its own, with three straight three pointers to balloon the lead to 50-33 with 9:24 to play, but the Wildcats whittled it back to ten with 6:24 to play. A Jonathan Wallace three and a pair of Jeff Green free throws help keep the lead above ten, but behind the quick moves of Scottie Reynolds on the outside and the work of Curtis Sumpter inside, Villanova narrowed the lead to seven with 1:19 to play.

    With the game tightening, Hibbert was fouled and hit his shots, 58-49. Reynolds then drove inside and was fouled on the basket, adding the free throw for a 58-52 lead. Dajuan Summers made one of two free throws with 39 seconds left, but when Curtis Sumpter was fouled inside, he missed the front end of the one and one with 27 seconds left, only to then be fouled off the offensive rebounds. Sumpter sank two more, 59-54.

    Jessie Sapp was immediately fouled, making one of two to lead 60-57. With the Georgetown defense keeping Reynolds off the ball, Sumpter missed a long three with 15 seconds left. On the ensuing play, Georgetown sent the ball long to Roy Hibbert, who picked up an easy dunk and ended the threat, 62-54. The Wildcats added a three at the buzzer for the final score.

    Coach Thompson's initial post game comment spoke for Hoya fans everywhere: "Whew."

    Clearly this was a game of two halves. Villanova held the Hoyas to a troubling 28 percent shooting in the second half, with Green and Hibbert held to 4 for 13 shooting. Sumpter had 15 points in the half, but was only 2 of 6 from outside the arc, which proved the difference late.

    Villanova's combination of size and speed will be a tough out for opponents in the upcoming NCAA tournament. For Georgetown, they've seen enough for one year.

    Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

             MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
    Wallace   35   0-1   3-5   1-2   4   5  1   12 
    Sapp      34   3-5   0-5   2-4   4   6  1    8 
    Summers   29   0-1   3-7   1-3   4   0  2   10 
    Green     31   5-10  0-4   2-2   9   1  4   12
    Hibbert   28   6-9   0-0   2-2   2   2  3   14
    Rivers    11   1-1   0-1   0-0   2   0  3    2
    Crawford   5   0-1   1-1   0-0   2   0  1    3
    Ewing     21   0-0   0-1   1-2   4   3  1    1 
    Team Rebounds                    6
    DNP: Macklin, Izzo, Spann, Dizdarevic
    TOTALS   200 15-30   7-24  9-15 38  18 16   62

    Post game links follow below.

    Big East Tournament Records 3/6/07

    Here's a review of the overall tournament records of the twelve teams heading into the week. Georgetown is one of three original Big East teams to have qualified in every Big East tournament.

    To say Georgetown is overdue for a run is an understatement--of the five pre-expansion Big East schools in this year's tournament, each has won a title since Georgetown last won the title in 1989. Georgetown's 18 year absence from the title is the most of any current Big East school.


    All-Time Record Semis Record Finals Record Last Semis Last Finals Last Title
    1. Georgetown 41-21 10-7 6-4 2006 1996 1989
    2. Louisville 0-1 0-0 0-0 -- -- --
    3. Pittsburgh 17-23 5-3 1-4 2006 2006 2003
    4. Notre Dame 3-11 0-1 0-0 2002 -- --
    5. Syracuse 41-22 13-6 5-8 2006 2006 2006
    6. Marquette 0-1 0-0 0-0 -- -- --
    7. W. Virginia 4-9 1-0 0-1 2005 2005 --
    8. DePaul 0-0 0-0 0-0 -- -- --
    9. Villanova 28-25 4-11 1-3 2006 1997 1995
    10.Providence 15-25 1-6 1-0 1994 1994 1994
    11. St. John's 22-21 5-6 3-2 2000 2000 2000
    12. Connecticut 40-21 9-3 6-3 2005 2004 2004
    Big East Tournament: Record Vs. Opponents 3/6/07 

    Here's the all time record of the Hoyas in the tournament against the eleven other teams in the 2007 tournament:

    Opponent Record Last GU Win Last GU Loss
    2. Louisville 0-0 None None
    3. Pittsburgh 2-0 1989 Quarters None
    4. Notre Dame 1-0 2006 1st Rd.  None
    5. Syracuse 6-6 2000 Quarters 2006 Semis
    6. Marquette 1-0 2006 Quarters  None
    7. W. Virginia 1-0 2000 1st Rd. None
    8. DePaul 0-0 None None
    9. Villanova 3-0 2003 1st Rd. None
    10. Providence 6-1 1999 1st Rd. 1994 Finals
    11. St. John's 5-0 1992 Semis None
    12. Connecticut 2-5 1991 Quarters 2005 Quarters
    Past Finishes Through The Years 3/6/07 

    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 Syracuse Quarters
    2004 0-1 #12 Lost to #5 BC 1st Rd.
    2005 1-1 #7 Lost to #2 UConn Quarters
    2006 2-1 #5 Lost to #9 Syracuse Semis
    All-Big East Teams Announced 3/6/07

    Juniors Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert were named first team team all conference selections as announced by the conference on March 5. Jonathan Wallace was named to the honorable mention team and Dajuan Summers was named to the All-Rookie team. Here's a link to the announcement.

    Big East & RPI Updated 3/5/07

    Here's a look at the Big East rated by RPI, one of the key drivers in NCAA selection. Teams with a RPI of 1-40 are generally in the best position for at-large consideration, with selections dwindling between 40 and 50.

    Teams highlighted in gray are likely fighting for one at-large bid. Teams in red have been mathematically eliminated from the Big East tournament.
    RPI Team BE Overall Last 5 Next Game
    5 Pittsburgh 12-4 25-6 3-2 Marq/St. John's winner
    17 Georgetown 13-3 23-6 4-1 DePaul/Villanova winner
    18 Villanova 9-7 20-9 4-1 DePaul
    23 Marquette 10-6 23-8 3-2 St. John's
    35 N.Dame 11-5 23-6 4-1 Syracuse/UConn winner
    43 Louisville 12-4 21-8 5-0 WV/Providence winner
    49 Syracuse 10-6 21-9 4-1 UConn
    58 W. Virginia 9-7 21-8 3-2 Providence
    60 DePaul 9-7 18-12 4-1 Villanova
    70 Providence 8-8 18-11 2-3 W. Virginia
    95 UConn 6-10 17-13 2-3 Syracuse
    130 St John's 7-9 16-14 3-2 Marquette
    149 Seton Hall 4-12 13-16 1-4 Season ended
    168 Cincinnati 2-14 11-19 0-5 Season ended
    187 S. Florida 3-13 12-18 0-5 Season ended
    214 Rutgers 3-13 10-19 1-4 Season ended
    Big East: How Did They Finish? 3/4/07

    The final standings (as per seeding) is listed below. So how have previous pre-season coaches polls matched the final season standings? Here's a comparison over the past four seasons:

    Predicted Actual Predicted Actual
    1. Pittsburgh 1. Georgetown 1. Villanova 1. Connecticut
    2. Georgetown 2. Louisville 2. Connecticut 2. Villanova
    3. Syracuse 3. Pittsburgh 3. Louisville 3. W. Virginia
    4. Marquette 4. Notre Dame 4. Syracuse 4. Pittsburgh
    5. Connecticut 5. Syracuse 5. W. Virginia 5. Georgetown
    6. Louisville 6. Marquette 6. Georgetown 6. Marquette
    7. Villanova 7. W. Virginia 7. Pittsburgh 7. Seton Hall
    8. DePaul 8. DePaul 8. Notre Dame 8. Cincinnati
    9. St. John's 9. Villanova 9. Cincinnati 9. Syracuse
    10. Providence 10. Providence 10. St. John's 10. Rutgers
    11. Notre Dame 11. St. John's 11. DePaul 11. Louisville
    12. W. Virginia 12. Connecticut 12. Marquette 12. Notre Dame
    13.Cincinnati 13. Seton Hall 13. Providence 13. Providence
    14. Rutgers 14. S. Florida 14. Rutgers 14. DePaul
    15. Seton Hall 15. Rutgers 15. Seton Hall 15. St. John's
    16. S. Florida 16.Cincinnati 16. S. Florida 16. S. Florida
    . .




    Predicted Actual   Predicted Actual
    1. Syracuse 1. BC   1. UConn 1. Pitt
    2. UConn 2. UConn   2. Syracuse 2. UConn
    3. Pitt 3. Syracuse   3. Notre Dame 3. Providence
    4. Notre Dame 4. Villanova   4. Pitt 4. Syracuse
    5. BC 5. Pitt   5. Providence 5. BC
    6. Providence 6. Notre Dame   6. Seton Hall 6. Seton Hall
    7. Villanova 7. Georgetown   7. Villanova 7. Notre Dame
    8. Seton Hall 8. W. Virginia   8. BC 8. Va. Tech
    9. W. Virginia 9. Providence   9. W. Virginia 9. Rutgers
    10. Rutgers 10. Seton Hall   10. St. John's 10. W. Virginia
    11. Georgetown 11. St. John's*   11. Miami 11. Villanova
    12. St. John's 12. Rutgers   12. Georgetown 12. Georgetown
          13. Rutgers 13. Miami
    *Ineligible.   14. Va. Tech 14.St. John's
    Georgetown 59, Connecticut 46 3/3/07

    It may have been Senior Day, but the juniors put on a show.

    The Class of 2008 combined for 54 points in a 59-46 win over Connecticut in the regular season finale, ending an 11 game losing streak to the Huskies and earning Georgetown the Big East regular season title for the first time since 1997 and the #1 seed for the first time since 1989.

    Both teams started out ragged, missing a combined 20 of its first 27 shot attempts. Georgetown's offense was greatly aided by center Roy Hibbert, who outplayed Connecticut's 7-3 freshman Hasheem Thabeet from the start, scoring six of the Hoyas' first eight points and eleven of its first 16. Still, the Hoyas' offense looked tentative after Jeff Green picked up two early fouls, as the Huskies went on an 10-2 run to lead 16-13 with 8:53 to play. At this point of the game, Hibbert was 4-8, while the rest of the team was 2-12.

    Green returned to the game later in the half, and the Hoyas responded. A Patrick Ewing Jr. three broke a 22-all tie, and GU scored 9 of the half's final 13 points in building a 30-26 lead at the half. At the start of the second half, Georgetown roared past the Huskies, thanks to a 15-1 run that left the Huskies in the tracks. Connecticut didn't score its first field goal of the half until the 14:30 mark, then down 18, and never got within single digits thereafter.

    Georgetown did not play its best game, but Connecticut's shooting was not a factor. The Huskies shot just 34% in the half, 1-6 from three point range, and as the half wound down, the only remaining question was whether seniors Sead Dizdarevic and Ken Izzo would see time on the court. The seniors made it in with 52 seconds left, with Dizdarevic committing a turnover and Izzo missing a three in consecutive possessions. Yet, with Jerome Dyson driving for a layup on the Huskies' last possession, Izzo swatted away the shot, earning his first career block in a Georgetown uniform.

    "Tonight there was a point in the game where we were trying to force a lot of things and we got a lot of turnovers and not making really good shots," said Jonathan Wallace in post-game comments. "But in the second half we were able to be more patient, able to spot openings in the defense to take advantage of."

    Coach Thompson even showed some emotion at the end of the game, prompting this exchange as noted in the Associated Press recap:

    "You seem to be more excited today that I've ever seen you after winning a championship," the elder Thompson [told his son]. "You seem to be more emotional."

    "The first one I think I was the most excited, when we won at Princeton when we beat Penn," the son replied. "But, today, yeah, I was a little excited out there today. Yeah, I was excited, Pops."

    "So excited," Pops said, "that you're going to take your old man to a real good restaurant?"

    The good feelings will be short-lived, as Georgetown must now prepare to be the hunted at the Big East Tournament, an event they have not won since 1989--the longest winless streak by any of the Big East's original teams. The Hoyas' outside shooting has been erratic of late and turnovers are still an issue, but if the Hoyas can put it all together, they'll be a tough out for any of the Big East's 11 other invitees.

    "We feel like we are one of the best teams in the Big East," said Green, "but we've just got to go out and prove it when the Big East tournament starts."

    Here's the Georgetown half of the box score.

             MIN   2FG   3FG   FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
    Wallace   35   3-6   1-2   1-1   8   1  2   10 
    Sapp      38   1-3   0-4   1-2   8   4  1    3 
    Summers   22   1-3   0-2   0-0   5   0  2    2 
    Green     26   4-8   2-3   0-0   2   1  4   14
    Hibbert   33   7-13  0-0   4-5  12   3  2   18
    Macklin    4   0-0   0-0   0-0   1   0  1    0
    Izzo       1   0-0   0-1   0-0   0   0  0    0
    Rivers     9   0-0   0-1   0-0   0   0  1    0
    Crawford   3   0-0   0-1   0-0   1   0  0    0
    Ewing     28   1-4   2-3   4-5   2   2  2   12
    Dizdarevic 1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0  0    0
    Team Rebounds                    1
    DNP: Spann
    TOTALS   200 17-37   5-17 10-13 40  11 15   59

    Post-game articles follow below.

    With the win, Georgetown ended an 11 game losing streak to Connecticut dating to 1997. It's the third longest streak in school history for consecutive losses to an opponent:

    Opponent Streak Started Ended
    Navy 0-15 1909 1927
    Maryland 0-12 1953 1960
    Connecticut 0-11 1997 2007
    St. John's 0-10 1948 1967
    St. Joseph's 0-9 1956 1967
    NYU 0-8 1929 1935
    Navy 0-8 1953 1962
    Seton Hall 0-7 1915 1952
    Fordham 0-7 1925 1942
    St. John's 0-7 1997 2004
    Class of 2007 3/2/07

    Few classes have been a part of such change as the seniors honored Saturday. Two of the original five recruits from that 2003 recruiting class remain on the team, and while neither started a single game, each has devoted four years of hard work for a team whose fortunes literally changed before our eyes.

    Of the five recruits from 2003 (center Darian Townes never enrolled, following assistant coach Ronny Thompson to Arkansas), four did arrive that fall: guard Matt Causey , guard Ray Reed, forward Sead Dizdarevic, and forward Ken Izzo.

    Causey arrived as a highly recruited guard from Atlanta, but his freshman year (2.2 ppg) was hampered by injuries, and he opted to transfer before the hiring of John Thompson III. Causey moved on to North Georgia State, averaging 23.5 points a game and earning NAIA All-America honors. Causey is sitting out the 2006-07 season and will walk on at Georgia Tech next fall. Reed stayed two years, averaging 3.1 points a game before transferring in 2005 to Cal State-Fullerton where he averages 8.0 points and 3.1 assists per game.

    Sead Dizdarevic '07 Sead Dizdarevic came to Georgetown from North Highland HS in California, where he averaged 22 points a game as a center/power forward. He averaged eight minutes per game his freshman year at Georgetown, with an eight point, four block effort in his opening game against Grambling. His time decreased steadily over the next three years, but was still capable of an good outside shot-- and with a little luck, he'll chance to do the same in the home finale Saturday. A native of Bijelo Polje, Montenegro, Dizdarevic will graduate this spring with an major in government, according to the 2007 media guide.

    Year     G  FG      FT      REB AST STL BLK PTS  AVG.
    2003-04  17  7-28    7-10    27   1   2   8  23   1.4
    2004-05  10  6-9     1-1      7   0   1   0  14   1.4
    2005-06   7  2-5     0-0      4   5   0   0   4   0.6
    2006-07  12  1-5     0-0      2   0   0   0   3   0.2
    Totals   46 16-47    8-11    40   6   3   8  44   0.9

    Ken Izzo '07 Ken Izzo has seen even less time on the court than Sead, but his hard work in practice has been a constant over his four years with the Hoyas. Izzo averaged 12 points a game at Chicago's Fenwick HS before coming to Georgetown.

    A basket in 2005-06 against Stetson was his only field goal to date of his career, having seen time in only 29 minutes in 24 games. A native of Chicago, Izzo will graduate this spring with a double major in finance and management, according to the 2007 media guide.

    Year     G  FG      FT     REB AST STL BLK PTS  AVG.
    2003-04  5  0-2     0-0      1   2   0   0   0   0.0
    2004-05  4  0-1     1-2      0   0   0   0   1   0.3 
    2005-06  4  1-2     0-0      0   0   0   0   2   0.5
    2006-07 11  0-1     1-2      1   0   0   0   1   0.1
    Totals  24  1-6     2-4      2   2   0   0   4   0.2

    As freshmen, Dizdarevic and Izzo endured a nine game losing streak and the bottom seed in the 2004 Big East tournament. Three years later, they stand with their teammates on the edge of a #1 seed in that same tournament, and have been part of one of the more remarkable turnarounds in Georgetown basketball history. Thanks to Sead, Ken, and senior manager Zelos Hill for their contributions to the program.

    Saluting The Other Seniors 3/2/07

    There's another story worth noting at Senior Day for those seniors that never took the court (well, at least not during the game) but have established for themselves a unique place in Georgetown basketball history.

    Student interest in Georgetown basketball reached a nadir in the 2003-04 season, so it was almost fitting when Kurt Muhlbauer applied to join Hoya Blue as a freshman, he was turned down. Determined to build up interest in the off-season, Muhlbauer and some friends discovered a web site that allowed people to custom design their own t-shirts at a low cost. Kurt and company had an idea to combine an old cheer with the excitement surrounding the new coach. Thus was born the "We Are Georgetown" shirt.

     Muhlbauer began promoting the shirts through the HoyaTalk online community and the Hoya Hoop Club soon took interest. The shirts (nicknamed the "Kurt-shirts") quickly gained momentum in the 2004-05 season, and by May 2005 Muhlbauer had became president of Hoya Blue, beginning an amazing run of promotional activity that has brought literally thousands of students into the Hoya basketball family over the last two years.

    "For the first time in several years, Hoya Blue was actively reaching out to students and offering them a chance to be active members of the club," wrote columnist John Hawkes in 2006. "If it was a core group of students running the club, they certainly weren't bashful about letting the core grow even bigger. Here we were in late April, and many of those freshman were not only still coming to events-they were volunteering, they were bringing friends, and in some cases, they had just been elected to Executive Board positions."

     From that momentum, student support of Hoya basketball is the strongest it has been since the 1980's, and as vocal as any school in the Big East. The reconstituted Hoya Blue has literally changed the face of Georgetown basketball support, as was chronicled in past links to The HOYA and to this link from Sports Illustrated.com.

    The t-shirt has not only became part of Hoya culture, but Hoya Blue's subsequent catch-phrases (the eponym "JT3", "Jeff Green's Mom!" "Roy! Roy-Roy-Roy!") have engaged a new generation of Hoya fans to the cause--in large part because Muhlbauer and the seniors never gave up on the program when so many of their fellow students had already done so.

    To the departing seniors of Hoya Blue, including Kurt Muhlbauer (C'07), Matt Kamenski (C'07), Tom Quinn (F'07) and Val Masati (C'07), among others, thanks for all that you have done for Georgetown University.

    Green: Present and Future 3/2/07

    Junior forward Jeff Green is the subject of this feature from the Associated Press on his style of play and his goals for the future.

    "I can be angry sometimes, but I'm a laid back kind of guy," Green said. "My favorite player is Scottie Pippen. He was a sidekick, and he played a lot of defense. That's my kind of guy. And he could be aggressive and dunk on you."

    Green knew the importance of Saturday's game as well.

    "I put it on myself that we need to beat UConn this year," Green said. "I can't go four years of my career in college not beating one team."


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