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Georgetown freezes late in loss at Connecticut

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Georgetown freezes late in loss at Connecticut

Some quick thoughts after watching Georgetown lose 68-62 at Connecticut in standard definition.

* For most of the game against their former Big East rival, the Hoyas (12-8) played with the same level of urgency and smarts offensively that led to Tuesday's win at No. 5 Xavier. Then came the final 4:31 and an avalanche of mistakes with the snowed in D.C. region watching. After D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's jumper gave Georgetown a 62-60, the Hoyas never scored again in their final non-conference game of the regular season.

Connecticut (14-5) labored from the field the entire second half (4 of 21) as Georgetown rallied for a lead after trailing 41-33. The Huskies only survived from the free throw line as they were in the 1-and-1 bonus with 14:22 remaining thanks to the Hoyas' numerous fouls. After two free throws put UConn up 63-62 with 2:44 left, Georgetown's possessions went like this: Turnover, missed 3-pointer, air ball, turnover, charge. These late issues were spread out, each committed by  different player.

* Reggie Cameron finished with 13 points while Smith-Rivera had 12. L.J. Peak also had 12 points before fouling out for the seventh time this season. Tre Campbell, after scoring 21 points on five 3-pointers at Xavier, had seven points.

* Connecticut entered with four players averaging double figure points. That quartet all had at least 11 with guards Rodney Purvis (17) and Sterling Gibbs (15) leading the way. That duo made 16 of 20 free throws and the Huskies finished 29 of 36. The Hoyas went 7 of 8.

* As for the big picture, getting a win over Connecticut would have taken some pressure off Georgetown's Big East record. Instead, the Hoyas (5-2) still probably need around 12 wins barring a string of upsets in their remaining games against the conference powers. Georgetown finished non-conference play 7-6.

* Georgetown's offense maintained the quicker ball movement that keyed its win over Xavier, which led to some open shots early. However, the Hoyas often fell in love with 3-pointers rather than look down low for inside-outside action. More than half of their field goal attempts came from beyond the arc.

Even worse, the shots, even several with a defender in range, weren't falling as Georgetown finished 9 of 31. Cameron and Smith-Rivera each hit 3 of 8 while Peak made both of his attempts. Campbell missed four of five.

Smith-Rivera and Peak sinking back-to-back 3-pointers helped fuel Georgetown's turnaround from down 41-33. Connecticut not making a basket until 12:50 remained in the second half did as well.

* In the first half, the Hoyas only hit 4 of 14 from deep. Centers Bradley Hayes and Jessie Govan had the size edge, but took just one shot combined. Cameron hit a few early and finished with 10 points, but the Huskies were content with him shooting rather than Smith-Rivera. The senior guard found more room in the second half, scoring nine points.

*Meanwhile, UConn's guards repeatedly got into the lane for shots at the rim or fouls on the Hoyas. The Huskies sank 50 percent of their first half attempts with Purvis and Gibbs combining for 20 points.

* The modern era of basketball is filled with big men wanting to play small. Not Hayes. It's not just that the 7-footer primarily shoots around the basket, but the type of shots. Twice he hit seldom-used hook shots and both with his left hand.  At least one notable basketball analysts noticed.

* Isaac Copeland started but scored only two points on 1 of 5 shooting while missing all three of his 3-point tries. The sophomore was also missing on the court down the stretch as coach John Thompson III turned elsewhere. Don't forget Copeland went scoreless against Xavier. As for his 3-point shot, he's 3 of 20 (15 percent) over the last six games.

*Next up, a rematch with Creighton Tuesday at Verizon Center. The Hoyas lost 79-66 in Omaha on Jan. 5.

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Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

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Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

INDIANAPOLIS -- Marcus Derrickson tied a career-high with 27 points, on 11-of-13 shooting, for his eighth 20-plus point game this season and Georgetown beat Butler 87-83 on Tuesday night.

After Georgetown missed two free throws, Kamar Baldwin made a scoop shot in the lane and Sean McDermott stole the inbounds pass, leading to another Baldwin basket to pull Butler to 84-81 with 1:29 to go.

Butler had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but Baldwin's long 3-pointer was short and Jahvon Blair sealed it at the line at 4.5.

Jessie Govan had his 12th double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds for Georgetown (15-10, 5-9 Big East). Trey Dickerson, a senior averaging 3.5 points per game, set a career-high in the first half with 12 points and finished with 18.

Kelan Martin had 22 points and eight rebounds to reach 20 points for the 17th time this season for Butler (17-10, 7-7). Tyler Wideman added 19 points and Baldwin had 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

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Virginia jumps to top of new AP poll for first time since 1982

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Virginia jumps to top of new AP poll for first time since 1982

A loss didn't prevent Virginia from climbing to No. 1 in AP men's basketball poll for the first time in more than 35 years after all.

The Cavaliers rose a slot to sit atop Monday's AP Top 25 despite an overtime home loss Saturday to Virginia Tech, part of an upset-filled week that allowed for plenty of uncertainty in the poll. The Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned 30 of 65 first-place votes to outdistance No. 2 Michigan State and rise above the turmoil that included last week's top three teams all losing.

Tony Bennett's Cavaliers had been at No. 2 before this season, but this is the first time the program has reached No. 1 since December 1982 — the senior season of 7-foot-4 great Ralph Sampson — back when the poll ranked only 20 teams. And that team fell out of that spot after its improbable upset loss to Chaminade in Hawaii, regarded by many as the biggest upset in the history of college sports.

Virginia looked set to reach the No. 1 spot after Villanova's home loss to St. John's before losing to the Hokies. Still, the Cavaliers ended up there a day after the NCAA selection committee had them as the No. 1 overall seed in its reveal of the top 16 seeds to date.

The Cavaliers — whose 12 previous weeks at No. 1 all came during the Sampson era — play with the top ranking for the first time since the Chaminade loss on Tuesday at Miami.

"I do not get too carried away with where we are," Bennett said after the loss to the Hokies. "I always say 'thus far,' and now we have to prove it again. ... Now we are going to get a chance to do it again and we are going to have to fight like crazy every game. Everybody is capable of beating everybody in this league and that is reality. If you are little off it is not enough."

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TOP-5 CHANGES

Michigan State (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) climbed two spots after a weekend win against Purdue in a top-5 matchup. The Spartans, who reached No. 1 for a week in January, earned 21 first-place votes.

Next came Villanova (23-2, 10-2 Big East), who fell to third after a five-week stay at No. 1 and earned nine first-place votes. Xavier (23-3, 11-2 Big East) inched up a spot to fourth and earned five first-place votes, followed by Cincinnati (23-2, 12-0 American Athletic Conference) at No. 5.

This is Xavier's highest ranking in its history, while Cincinnati is in the top 5 for the first time since spending a good chunk of the 2001-02 season there.

PURDUE'S SLIDE

Purdue (23-4, 12-2 Big East) fell from third to sixth after losing to Ohio State and Michigan State last week. Those losses snapped the nation's longest winning streak at 19 games, marking Purdue's first losses since falling to Tennessee and Western Kentucky on consecutive November days in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.

Texas Tech was next at No. 7, followed by Ohio State, Gonzaga and Auburn to round out the top 10.

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TOP RISERS

Rivalry wins against Duke and North Carolina State helped North Carolina climb seven spots to No. 14 for the week's biggest jump. It continued the Tar Heels' wild swings in poll positioning, including a nine-slot drop last month and two other slides of eight slots.

Ohio State rose six spots to No. 8 after the Purdue win, while No. 11 Clemson was up five spots.

LONGEST SLIDES

Oklahoma and freshman star Trae Young had the biggest fall of the week, down six spots to No. 23. The Sooners have lost three straight and six of eight after Saturday's loss at Iowa State .

St. Mary's (15th) and Arizona (17th) both fell four spots.

NEWCOMERS

The newcomers aren't entirely new this week. Both No. 21 Texas A&M and No. 25 Arizona State have been ranked multiple weeks this season and appeared in the top 10, with the Sun Devils reaching No. 3 on Christmas Day.

SLIDING OUT

Kentucky fell out of the rankings for the second time this season -- It hadn't happened since March 2014 before this year -- from No. 24 after three straight losses. Miami fell out from No. 25 after losing at Boston College.

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