NCAA

Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament? It could happen

Georgetown in the NCAA Tournament? It could happen

The Georgetown Hoyas are just 3-6 in the NCAA Tournament since reaching the Final Four in 2007, and with the program getting off to a shaky start to begin the 2016-17 season, questions regarding the future of head coach John Thompson III have begun to circulate. 

But the easiest way to quiet critics is to win, and the Hoyas (12-10, 3-6) did just that this week, beating No. 16 Creighton 71-51 at Verizon Center and No. 11 Butler 85-81 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

With an upcoming game against lowly DePaul, the Hoyas are in a good position to put together a solid winning streak and improve their standing, not only in the Big East, but in the NCAA Tournament selection process.

While the ten losses, which includes four straight losses to begin conference play and a head-scratching non-conference home loss to Arkansas State, paint a bad picture, the Hoyas have a hearty crop of good wins, and as of the end of January, have the resume of a NCAA Tournament team, according to USA Today's latest Bracketology update.

USAT bracketeer Shelby Mast has the Hoyas as one of the last four teams in the field of 68, meaning they would travel to Dayton, Ohio to play in the First Four against TCU. The winner of that game would go on to play UCLA, with the winner advancing to face Creighton or Monmouth. That would be fun. 

While the optics still seem garish, the Hoyas have three wins against RPI Top 15 teams (Oregon, Butler, Creighton) and have already played 13 teams ranked in the KenPom Top 100. While they still have plenty of work to do, the Big East's strong depth means they will have opportunities to pick up more good wins. A road trip to Creighton, along with two games against Villanova would provide the resume boost that not many other programs could benefit from.

The idea of Georgetown in the tournament might make some chuckle, especially considering the way their recent tournament appearances have finished.

But the latest Bracketology clearly proves that the Hoyas are in position to make the tournament if they continue to win, and after last week, it looks like that's what they've decided to do.

 

 

 

 

Guy drops 29 points in Virginia's win over VCU

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USA Today Sports Images

Guy drops 29 points in Virginia's win over VCU

Kyle Guy scored 29 points and hit two 3-pointers in the final three minutes Friday, leading Virginia to a 76-67 victory against VCU.

Ty Jerome also hit from long range in the closing minutes and Virginia (3-0) saw its lead trimmed to three at 63-60 with five minutes left. Neither team scored for the next two minutes before Guy came off a screen right in front of the Cavaliers' and doubled their lead.

Issac Vann made it 66-62 with a driving basket for VCU (2-1), but Guy hit a pair of free throws and Jerome followed with a 3-pointer.

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Jerome added 13 points and seven assists for Virginia.

Vann led VCU with 19 points, Johnny Williams had 14 and Khris Lane 12.

THE BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers had little trouble with VCU's pressure, turning the ball over just five times and outscoring the Rams 12-5 off turnovers. They also outscored the Rams 18-0 on fast break points, but they were beaten on the backboards 36-26.

VCU: The Rams averaged 94.5 points in their first two games, but are still working to integrate what first-year coach Mike Rhoades wants them to do on offense and defense. Johnny Williams can be a force driving to the basket, and transfer Vann gives them another quality 3-point shooter.

UP NEXT

Virginia is at home on Sunday against Monmouth.

VCU faces Marquette in the Maui Invitational on Monday.

Saint Louis tops Virginia Tech behind Bess' 22 points

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Saint Louis tops Virginia Tech behind Bess' 22 points

NEW YORK -- Character was the theme espoused by Saint Louis coach Travis Ford and Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams.

Ford praised his team's ethos, as opposed to Williams, who wondered about his squad's makeup.

"What haunts me is our character was revealed in how we played," Williams said after Saint Louis topped Virginia Tech, 77-71, in the opening round of the 2K Classic on Thursday night.

"This was the first time I was caught off-guard," Williams said.

Javon Bess scored 22 points and Jordan Goodwin added 19 for Saint Louis (3-0).

"All week in practice we worked on getting back in transition," Goodwin said. "Make sure we help each other out. We take pride in our defense. Sometimes the offense might not go but every night we guard we're going to be there every play."

Despite getting a career-high 26 points from Ahmed Hill, Virginia Tech fell to 2-1. Justin Bibbs scored 15 in his first game of the season after sitting out the first two games for disciplinary reasons. Kerry Blackshear Jr. added 10 before fouling out.

"They were tougher than us from start to finish," Williams said. "I didn't think we were ever in the fight. I don't think we were ever in the mix."

The eighth all-time matchup between the Atlantic 10 and Atlantic Coast Conference programs was taut as St. Louis' 61-49 advantage with 7:57 left was the largest lead for either team.

On the strength of an 11-3 run, though, Virginia Tech cut the deficit to 64-60. Four points is as close as the Hokies would get.

Davell Rovy's baseline layup pushed the lead back to 66-60. Bess made seven free throws and Goodwin three in the final minute to help seal the win.

"It was good to see," Ford said. "We've had some really poor performances from the free-throw line in some games -- exhibition games and different things; we've had some other games where we've shot them a little bit better -- it was good to see because I think that's when you're tested.

"I've seen that from Javon. I've seen that from Jordan and different guys. When it's on the line, they seem to rise to the occasion."

Benefiting an early-season game, there were areas in which Williams and Ford to work on with their teams. For the Hokies, free-throw shooting was a significant issue as they made only 23 of 36 (63.9 percent).

Saint Louis made just 4 of 18 from the arc.

"I thought they overwhelmed us," Williams said.