SOUTH: (15)Florida Gulf Coast 78 (2)Georgetown 68: The Georgetown Hoyas annual March debacle is complete. The Big East behemoth has made a routine of leaving their hearts at home when the pressure of the NCAA’s is on. Little known upstart Florida Gulf Coast etched it’s name in NCAA tournament lure by adding to the Hoyas pain.
John Thompson III and the co-Big East Champions were unable to match the intensity of Andy Enfield’s team. The Hoyas made a push near the end of the second half, but for most of the 40 minutes in Philadelphia, the better team was in royal blue and green. It was almost as if Georgetown treated the game like a scrimmage. FGCU meanwhile, treated the game like the opportunity of a lifetime.
Motivated by a pregame pep-talk from senior leader Sherwood Brown, the FGCU Eagles had a pep in their step from the outset. Even as Georgetown upped their biggest lead of the game to 7 early in the 1st half, the energy in the arena had an Eagle feel. Florida Gulf Coast was more active, more athletic and more hungry than the Hoyas. Sherwood Brown meanwhile made sure he led by example, scoring 24 pts to pace his squad.
Brown and the Eagles turned a 17-10 defecit to a 24-22 halftime lead, closing the half on a 14-5 run. They would never look back. They kept going straight at the top-10 ranked Hoyas like they had the soul of the 1985 Villanova Wildcats. Appropriate as FGCU was playing at Villanova’s off-campus home. And a team named the Eagles? In Philadelphia? Well, lets just say they played better in Philadelphia Friday night than any other team baring the same name.
Whatever coach Andy Enfield said to his team at halftime sparked a second half start that would ultimately be the nail in the coffin for G-Town. The Eagles would build an 8 point lead by the 16 minute mark and would then blow the game open. Capped by an emphatic, highlight reel dunk by Chase Fieler, FGCU erupted to a 52-33 lead with 12:33 to go.
The 28-11 start to the second half would prove to be the key to victory. Georgetown would make runs, but the Eagles always had an answer.
Big East player of the year Otto Porter had one of his worst performances of the year. Freshman phenom D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera was just 3-11 from the floor. All toll, the duo shot 8-28, while Georgetown as a team shot just 37%. Porter would grab 11 rebounds, but the number of missed field goals was perplexing. Particularly because Porter and the Hoyas missed a lot of high percentage shots.
Down the stretch, Junior guard Markel Starks did everything he could to shoot the Hoyas back into it. His fourth 3-pointer of the night brought Georgetown within 4 points, 72-68, with :54 to go, the Hoyas would not score again.
Every super hero needs a sidekick, Bernard Thompson complimented Sherwood Brown quite nicely. Brown’s 24 pts and 9 rebounds was rivaled by Thompson’s 23 & 7. The duo combined for 6 three pointers, shooting 11-26 from the floor and 19-28 from the free throw line. FGCU had 44 free throw attempts to just 20 for Georgetown. You earn more free throws when you attack the basket, the Eagles were indeed in attack mode.
For all the attention Brown and Thompson will rightfully receive, it was a complete effort. Although the Eagles only go six-deep, they seemed to always have more in the tank than the Hoyas. Brett Comer dished out ten assists. Eddie Murray shot 3-4 off the bench, scoring 9 and grabbing 5 boards. Chase Fieler scored 9 and had 7 rebounds, while also slamming home a dunk to remember in the 2nd half. The highlight reel slam will be replayed for years to come by the Eagles and their flock.
Andy Enfield’s boys came to play. The 78 points allowed by Georgetown was the most they had given up all season. The Hoyas, annually one of the nations best defensive teams, were exposed by FGCU. Meanwhile- the Eagles forced a bigger Georgetown team to shoot 27 three pointers, rather than take advantage of their advantage in the paint. Markel Starks managed to knock down 4-10 from behind the arc. The rest of JT3’s squad shot 3-17 from distance. The much taller Hoyas also only managed a 38-36 edge in rebounds, which also proved large.
The game was played on TBS. Georgetown decided to take on one of their slogans, “Very Funny.” You want proof, this inbounds play pretty much puts a bow on this one for the Hoyas… http://deadspin.com/georgetown-fell-victim-to-the-inbound-the-ball-off-a-d-458449834?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_twitter&utm_source=deadspin_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow
Andy Enfield: The Most Interesting Man In The World
That guy in the picture above won’t be taking over as the next Dos Eqis spokesmen. However, one could argue that he is building a resume worthy of “The most interesting man in the world.” After making millions in business ventures, Andy decided to take on his life long dream of being a Division 1 NCAA head coach.
So he’s a millionaire. He’s the head coach of one of this years Cinderella stories. He’s built a college program literally from scratch. What else could this guy possibly have on all of us March Madness couch spectators?
Well, he’s also married to super model Amanda Marcum…
Dos Eqis is on hold, for now. Perhaps for not much longer if Enfield and his FGCU Eagles keep defying the odds.
Whats Next For The Hoyas?
This was the fourth time in five years that Georgetown has been bounced in the first round of the NCAA’s. It was the fourth straight year that the Hoyas lost to a double-digit seed. Hoya nation will now have to cross their collective fingers that they don’t lose their best player to the NBA draft.
Otto Porter didn’t play like the Big East Player of the Year Friday night. Despite the bad finish, the Sophomore forward rarely disappointed this season. He’s a consensus lottery pick according to NBA draft experts. Opting to enter the draft seems to be a good possibility.
The other possibility? Finishing what he started.
Although the bitter defeat will last well into the offseason, the Hoyas bring back a pretty solid foundation with or without Porter for 2014. Markel Starks and Nate Lubick will be Seniors. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera grew a lot in his Freshman season, the future is very bright for him, next year and beyond. Mikael Hopkins will enter his Junior year after making big strides this year. JT3 also has promising projects to work with in Stephen Domingo, Moses Ayegba, Brandon Bolden and Bradley Hayes- among others. Add in sharp-shooting combo guard Reggie Cameron next year and the Hoyas will be playing again in March.
If that group of players is led by Otto Porter next year, Georgetown losing in the first round again is highly unlikely. They would be a consensus top 5, no lower than top 10 team. Porter would be a Wooden Award favorite. JT3 and Porter could easily exorcise all of their demons if Otto decides to stay for his Junior season. Throw in Greg Whittington if he’s able to overcome his academic issues, and they could easily be a Final Four contender.
Then again, they should’ve been a Final Four contender this season. Otto’s college days may be done. The lure of a big pay day is pretty hard to resist. You have to take advantage of your opportunities when you get them. The Hoyas failed to open up that door again this year- as if they never heard opportunity knocking.
THE REST OF DAY TWO
(1)Kansas 64 (16)Western Ky 57>> The Hilltoppers gave the Jayhawks a run for their money, next up old coach Roy Williams and UNC.
(8)North Carolina 78 (9)Villanova 71>> Another Big East team, another loss. UNC is getting hot at the right time, big Sunday clash set up now with Kansas.
(7)San Diego St. 70 (10)Oklahoma 55>>Jamaal Franklin led the Aztecs with 21pts, 8 reb and 5 assists. Next up, Florida Gulf Coast.
(11)Minnesota 83 (6)UCLA 53>> The Gophers spoil UCLA’s vaunted recruiting class. Andre Hollins dominant in win.
(3)Florida 79 (14)Northwestern St. 47>> Florida breezes behind a balanced attack, next up Minnesota.
(1)Indiana 83 (16)James Madison 62>> Indiana advances to face Temple.
(9)Temple 76 (8)NC State 72>> Temple topples preseason ACC favorites. Next up, Indiana.
(7)Illinois 57 (10)Colorado 49>>Richardson, Paul and Abrams all in double figures for Illini.
(2)Miami-Fl 78 (15)Pacific 49>> Jim Larranaga and the Hurricanes blow away Pacific, next up Illinois.
(2)Ohio St. 95 (15)Iona 70>> The Buckeyes pound Iona. Iowa St. Cyclones up next.
(10)Iowa St. 76 Notre Dame 58>> Notre Dame continues Big East misery. Cyclones v. Buckeyes next up.
(12)Ole Miss 57 (5)Wisconsin 46>>The curse of the 5 seeds continues. Ole Miss wins behind Marshall Mania. 12 versus 13 in the next round.
(13)LaSalle 63 (4)Kansas St. 61>> LaSalle wins 2nd game of the tournament in perhaps the most competitive game of the day.
(2)Duke 73 (15)Albany 61>> Albany hung tough, but Coach K and Duke avoid the upset this year. Next up, a tough Creighton team.
(7)Creighton 67 (10)Cincinnati 63>> Another Big East team, another loss. Creighton is a dangerous team, more than just McDermott.