An improbable upset over No. 19 Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse suddenly vaulted the Georgetown Hoyas into the NCAA Tournament conversation over the weekend.
They pulled out the victory with only seven scholarship players, missing their top two scorers on the season. But no matter how they accomplished the feat, they win drew attention across the country. Any team in the Big East conference that just pulled out a road victory against the ranked Butler Bulldogs has to have postseason aspirations, right?
There was a surprising revelation when evaluating the Hoyas: The don't have that bad of a tournament resume.
Yes, at 15-10 (5-7 Big East) the Hoyas can be considered a bubble team. They're ranked 46th in the NET, 47th in KenPom, 60th in BPI and are the last team in Joe Lunardi's bracketology projection as of this writing. Their surprising win over Butler, along with an atrocious bubble this season, has helped them get there.
Now is when the season gets important for the Hoyas, though. One loss to a subpar team could derail that. On Wednesday they host Providence for their second matchup of the season. If they lose, the Hoyas can kiss an at-large bid goodbye.
Georgetown's resume is contingent on them avoiding bad losses. Their worst loss on the season was to a solid UNC Greensboro team. Every other one is qualified as a Quadrant 1 loss according to the NET. They are 10-1 in non-Q1 situations.
Bad losses are abound in college basketball this season, even from the top teams. Those losses have Virginia, VCU and Alabama stuck on the bubble. Somehow, the scrappy Hoyas have kept them off their resume.
Losing to Providence would be a bad loss for the Hoyas. It would be their worst loss to date, according to the NET. Providence (NET: 58) is, in fact, one of those teams with a handful of poor losses (9-4 vs. sub-Q1 opponents). And while Providence is also in consideration for the NCAA Tournament, it would crush the Hoyas' outlook since they don't have the Q1 wins to offset a loss like that. This contest being at home for the Hoyas makes it even more imperative that they come out on top.
Beating the Friars at home will not likely be enough for the Hoyas to make the tournament. They'll have to also beat Xavier, DePaul and likely find some magic in one of their other three games.
The Hoyas can get there, but their quest for the NCAA Tournament starts by beating Providence.
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