NCAA

Hoyas' epic comeback not enough against Friars: 5 takeaways

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Hoyas' epic comeback not enough against Friars: 5 takeaways

Georgetown's day started with news of a bad break involving center Bradley Hayes and only got worse from there against No. 20 Providence, falling behind by 26 points. That is until the Hoyas opened the second half with energy and offense, a combination that turned a blowout into an epic comeback. Yet with a big win needed to keep alive hopes of an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, Georgetown ultimately came up short, falling 75-72 Saturday afternoon at Providence.

The Hoyas (14-12, 7-6 Big East) trailed 49-23 with 58 seconds left in the first half, but scored the final six points before halftime and that surge carried over. With Marcus Derrickson's production and L.J. Peak in attack mode, the deficit was 10 with 10 minutes left.  The drama reached intense levels when a 3-pointer by Trey Mourning, one of the players stepping up with Hayes out because of a broken hand, closes the gap to 71-70 with 68 seconds left.

Meanwhile the mistake-prone Friars (19-7, 7-6) continued to implode. Leading 73-70, Providence fouled a 3-point shooter for the second time in the final minutes. Derrickson, who led the Hoyas with 18 points and nine rebounds, made all three attempts earlier in the rally. In the second instance, Isaac Copeland could only made two of three with 10 seconds left.

All of this occurred without virtually any scoring contribution from leading man D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera. His lone basket came on a 3-pointer with 2:47 left. After Providence's Ben Bentil hit two free throws with 8.1 seconds left, Smith-Rivera's game-tying 3-pointer from the right wing was blocked. 

Peak and Jessie Govan each scored 13 points while Copeland added 12 and Mourning a career-high 10 for Georgetown which has now lost four of five games including two to Providence. Smith-Rivera had three points on 1 of 8 shooting.

RELATED: Hoyas lose starter with broken hand

Providence won 73-69 at Verizon Center on Jan. 31 as standouts Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil each scored 26 points. In the rematch, the Friars' supporting cast delivered. Guard Rodney Bullock scored 18 of his 23 points in the first half and blocked Smith-Rivera's final shot. Dunn, the Big East Player of the Year favorite, finished with 20 and Bentil scored 18.

The Hoyas host Seton Hall Saturday. Georgetown lost 69-61 in the first meeting last week.

* While the Hoyas deserve credit for the second half fight, the big picture is now a fright. Outside of running the table with their five remaining regular season games, which includes matchups against No. 5 Xavier, Butler and at No. 1 Villanova, we are done viewing Georgetown as a bubble team. It's win the Big East Tournament for the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament or bust. The real question now is whether the Hoyas will even qualify for the NIT, which requires a .500 record at minimum. That means Georgetown must win at least two of its next six games, including the Big East Tournament opener. Based on opponents and location, there's a good chance the Hoyas won't be favored in any of those contests. 

* There's also a good chance they won't play any of those games without Hayes. The big news pregame involved the big man as Georgetown announced the senior center underwent surgery after breaking his left hand in practice Thursday. The Hoyas' leading rebounder is out "indefinitely," but it would seem unlikely he returns before the regular season concludes March 1 at Villanova. Huge blow for the team as Hayes provided the bulk of their interior scoring, but also for a senior who made huge strides after largely sitting for three seasons.

* Georgetown went just shy of seven minutes without a point through the first half and Providence turned a 13-0 run into a 26-9 lead. Under coach John Thompson III, the Hoyas can get into bad habits of repetitive side-by-side passing rather than attacking the paint. Without Hayes inside and sans a true penetrating threat off the dribble, bad habits turned into offensive norm and resulted in zero flow during the first half The Hoyas shot 9 of 28 (32.1 percent) before halftime, but sank 53.3 percent of attempts in the second half. 

* Smith-Rivera, Copeland and Peak combined for 67 points in Monday's against St John's and became the first trio of Hoyas with at least 20 points in the same game. None of three had a field goal until Copeland scored with 7:10 left in the first half. 

* Govan replaced Hayes in the starting lineup, but quickly went to the bench with two fouls less than three minutes. The freshman eventually fouled out, but not before hitting 5 of 6 shot attempts. Both he and Mourning helped the offense with their perimeter shooting.

MORE COLLEGE HOOPS: Clark, Davis help UMass knock VCU out of first, 69-63

Georgetown notches impressive road win, Mac McClung dunks again

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Georgetown notches impressive road win, Mac McClung dunks again

The Georgetown Hoyas notched an impressive road win on Tuesday night, defeating Illinois, 88-80 as part of the fourth annual Gavitt Tipoff Games. The Hoyas (3-0) were led by freshman James Akinjo (19 points), Josh LeBlanc (14 points) and Mac McClung (12 points), while freshman Ayo Dusunmo led all players with 25 points for the Illini (1-1) in the loss.

While Georgetown is far from a finished product or even a Top 25 team, the Hoyas are must-see television.

There's a Ewing (head coach Patrick) on the sideline, a Mourning (Alonzo's son Trey) in the middle, a future pro who can stretch the floor (Jessie Govan) and the most electrifying dunker in the country (McClung).

Akinjo has all the makings of a future All Big East First Team selection, LeBlanc provides ideal length to guard multiple positions, and sophomore Jamorko Pickett is a playmaker very few are talking about right now. That just might be a great thing.

Speaking of McClung, the Gate City, Va. freshman once again put on a mixtape performance, going up-and-under for a nifty finish and finishing a transition play in reverse style.

McClung did finish 0-for-4 from beyond the arc and has now missed all 11 of his 3-point attempts this season. But the 6-1 dunk sensation does have six steals and nine assists to go along with 24 points in the first three games of his college career.

Next up for the Hoyas is a trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica to take on Loyola Marymount and South Florida as part of the 2018 Jamaica Classic, which begins Friday, Nov. 16 on CBS Sports Network.

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Virginia, Virginia Tech each moved one spot in new top-25 poll but in opposite directions

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Virginia, Virginia Tech each moved one spot in new top-25 poll but in opposite directions

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Duke changed everything about who AP Top 25 voters considered to be the nation's best team with a single dominating performance against a marquee opponent.

It also gave the Blue Devils yet another milestone under Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski: a record number of appearances at No. 1.

The Blue Devils jumped from fourth to first Monday in the first regular-season poll, leapfrogging Kansas at the top after a blowout win against then-No. 2 Kentucky last week. That allowed Duke to set a record with its 135th week at No. 1, breaking a tie with UCLA for the most top rankings in poll history.

The 34-point win against the Wildcats in the Champions Classic to open the season marked the program's most lopsided win against a top-5 opponent. Duke was practically flawless behind star freshmen RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson and Cam Reddish, and that created a buzz about the team's already lofty potential being somehow even higher than anyone anticipated.

Granted, it was one game. And Duke (2-0) didn't look nearly so dazzling Sunday at home against Army. But that one performance caused a major voting shift, even with now-No. 2 Kansas earning a quality win of its own against then-No. 10 Michigan State in the first game of the Champions Classic.

Kansas was a solid preseason No. 1 by earning 37 of 65 first-place votes, followed by 19 for Kentucky and four for Duke. But Duke now has 48 first-place votes, claiming the top spot for all 19 voters who had Kentucky as preseason No. 1 while also causing 23 voters to switch from Kansas in the preseason Duke this week.

Duke also prompted switches from the lone voters who had Gonzaga and Villanova at No. 1 in the preseason.

The hype probably won't slow anytime soon, either. The Blue Devils have everyone's attention.

"Part of becoming good is keeping the noise out of your locker room," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the Army win. "And when something good happens and you have the start of the season ... there's a lot of noise. And for us, it's not always good noise, but in this case, it was exceptional noise. Exceptional noise.

"When you have four freshmen and we don't have veterans, you have to be more mature about listening to that."

COMPLETE MEN'S BASKETBALL TOP-25 RANKINGS WEEK 2

1. Duke 2-0 (48 votes, No. 4 last week)

2. Kansas 1-0 (14 votes, No. 1 last week)

3. Gonzaga 2-0 (No. 3 last week)

4. Virginia 2-0 (2 votes, No. 5 last week)

5. Tennessee 2-0 (1 vote, No. 6 last week)

6. Nevada 2-0 (No. 7 last week)

7. North Carolina 2-0 (No. 8 last week)

8. Villanova 2-0 (No. 9 last week)

9. Auburn 2-0 (No. 11 last week)

10. Kentucky 1-1 (No. 2 last week)

11. Michigan State (No. 10 last week)

12. Kansas State 1-0 (No. 12 last week)

13. Oregon 2-0 (No. 14 last week)

14. Florida State 2-0 (No. 17 last week)

15. Syracuse 2-0 (No. 16 last week)

16. Virginia Tech 1-0 (No. 15 last week)

17. Mississippi State 2-0 (No. 18 last week)

18. Michigan 2-0 (No. 19 last week)

19. Clemson 2-0 (No. 22 last week)

20. UCLA 2-0 (No. 21 last week)

21. TCU 2-0 (No. 20 last week)

22. LSU 2-0 (No. 23 last week)

23. Purdue 2-0 (No. 24 last week)

24. Marquette 2-0 (Not ranked last week)

25. Buffalo 2-0 (Not ranked last week)

AT THE TOP

Gonzaga stayed at No. 3, followed by Virginia and Tennessee each climbing a spot to round out the top 5. Nevada, North Carolina, reigning national champion Villanova and Auburn were next, while Kentucky slid eight spots to No. 10.

TOP RISERS

There weren't any dramatic climbs beyond the Duke-Kansas change at the top. In all, 16 teams moved up this week poll, with No. 14 Florida State and No. 19 Clemson matching Duke's three-spot jump for the biggest of the week.

Twelve of the gains were merely one spot.

LONGEST SLIDES

Kentucky's fall was the biggest for any team that stayed in the poll. The others were all modest, with four teams -- Kansas, No. 11 Michigan State, No. 16 Virginia Tech and No. 21 TCU -- falling one spot each.

NEWCOMERS

There were two new teams in the poll with No. 24 Marquette and No. 25 Buffalo.

It's the first appearance for Marquette in nearly five years since last appearing at No. 25 in November 2013.

As for Buffalo, it's the first AP Top 25 appearance in program history. It comes after the Bulls got 43 points and 14 rebounds from CJ Massinburg to beat then-No. 13 West Virginia on the road -- another marquee upset for a team that beat Arizona and eventual No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Deandre Ayton in the first round of last year's NCAA Tournament.

SLIDING OUT

The Mountaineers slid all the way out after losing to the Bulls, which marked their first loss in a home opener since November 2003. Washington fell out from No. 25 after a loss to Auburn.

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