Saturday, March 8th, 2014
When: 2:00 pm Eastern
RPI: Villanova: 4 | Georgetown: 57
KenPom: Villanova: 7 | Georgetown: 49
Wells Fargo Center (Capacity: 20,328)
Where: Philadelphia, P.A.
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: 610AM CBS Radio
Odds: | O/U:
These two schools last met at the Verizon Center on January 27th, on an icy-cold night in Washington, DC. Villanova was the victor, taking a five-point lead into half-time and finishing the game with an ugly 65-60 victory. Now, the Hoyas will make the return trip to Philadelphia to take another shot at the Wildcats.
Georgetown and Villanova have met 72 times dating back to 1922, though they didn't play regularly until closer to the Big East's founding. The Hoyas own the series record 42-30.
Inconsistency is the name of the game for Georgetown this season. They opened the season with a loss in Korea and followed that up with a head-scratching loss to Northeastern, then wins over Kansas State and VCU. The Hoyas have just one truly head-scratching loss though, and outside of their late-January losing streak, they have only lost back-to-back games one other time this season.
Markel Starks is the straw that stirs the drink for the Hoyas. He always starts, plays almost 92% of their minutes, and is responsible for over a quarter of their shots/possessions. At 17 points per game, the Hoya point guard is their leader on the scoreboard, dishing out 4.1 assists to 2.3 turnovers per game.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, meanwhile, scores an average of 16.9 points per game while chipping in 2.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds. He shoots 39.6% from deep as well, and is the only Georgetown player who has made more than one-third of those attempts. Also scoring in double-digits is Josh Smith, a
Unlike some previous seasons, Georgetown just doesn't have the dominant big man that used to define their program. Joshua Smith was scoring in double-digits through the first 13 games, but was ruled academically ineligible to play. Power forward Nate Lubick offers strength and defensive presence, however, and will challenge Villanova's undersized lineup, while Mikael Hopkins had a big game on Tuesday.
Georgetown isn't as down-on-their-luck as they were the last time they met Villanova on the hardwood. The Hoyas shook off their five-game losing streak to beat Michigan State, and win four in a row. They are solidly on the bubble, and while Tuesday's upset win over Creighton helped their case immensely, they still have plenty of work to do to get back to the NCAA tournament (and hopefully to avoid FGCU).
That's essentially the storyline of this game. The NCAA tournament implications are all present -- Georgetown needs a win to safely get into the picture. Villanova, meanwhile, needs a win because a number-one seeding could be up for grabs this month, and well, because it's Georgetown, and you have to keep the fans happy.
John Thompson III's story begins with his father. John Thompson Jr. coached Georgetown from 1972 to 1999, giving them their first and only NCAA championship in 1984. His son interestingly did not play basketball for him in college, but rather played at Princeton University from 1984-88. After Thompson Jr. retired, Craig Esherick had a short stint as the Georgetown's coach from 1999-2004, and John Thompson III took over before the 2004-2005 season.
Thompson III's coaching career began at his Alma mater Princeton in 1995. He was promoted to the head coaching position there in 2000, and left in 2004 to lead the Hoyas' basketball program. His head coaching overall record is 277-131 (.679) and 209-89 (.698) at Georgetown. Perhaps his most notable accomplishment is reaching the Final Four in 2007. His team also won the Big East Conference Championship in 2007 and won regular season in 2007, 2008, and 2013. He is active in both the Georgetown and Washington DC communities. Rumor has it that Thompson is bringing back the bald + mustache look.
Bill "Definition of 'is'" Clinton. Bradley Cooper. Matthew Kidman (Emile Hirsch's character in raunchy, 2004 teen-comedy, The Girl Next Door). Nick Kroll. At least one former NFL commissioner as well.
More importantly, lets talk about Bradley Cooper.
Bradley Cooper enrolled at Villanova University in the Fall of 1993. After Spring semester 1994, however, the Hangover star transferred to Georgetown because he was 19 and a hot girl from his high school went there. Here's the thing though, Cooper was never really a Hoya hoops fan. His dad, Charles Cooper, played basketball for Villanova apparently. So, Cooper is a Villanova guy, regardless what that piece of paper on his wall may try to tell you.