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March Madness 2012: Georgetown's Path to March Madness

A look at the Georgetown Hoyas ahead of their NCAA Tournament match-up against Belmont.

Presswire

The Georgetown Hoyas were predicted to finish 10th in the Big East preseason media poll. It was thought that the departures of Austin Freeman and Chris Wright would subtract too much scoring for Georgetown to contend for the conference title. But the Hoyas proved the preseason polls wrong, staying near the top of conference standings the entire season.

The Hoyas boast three players who average double digits in scoring: senior Jason Clark (13.9 points per game), junior Hollis Thompson (12.7 points per game), and senior Henry Sims (11.7 points per game). Freshman Otto Porter proved to be a controversial snub from the Big East All-Freshman Team, chipping in 9.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

At their best, the Hoyas are one of the toughest defensive teams in the country, allowing just 59.2 points per game. Their offense is similar to the classic Princeton style popularized by the legendary Ivy League coach Pete Carril. The key player on both ends of the floor is Sims, who is a good passing big man on offense and defends the rim well on the other end.

Georgetown first raised eyebrows with a creditable fifth-place finish at the Maui Invitational, which included a close loss to Big XII regular season champion Kansas. The Hoyas went on to record true road wins over Alabama and Louisville, while also defeating defending national champion Connecticut and taking regular season champion Syracuse to overtime in the Carrier Dome.

Georgetown finished the regular season with a 22-7 record, going 12-6 in Big East play. The Hoyas were defeated in the Big East quarterfinals by Cincinnati in double overtime, 72-70, losing a second-half lead as the lack of a crunch-time scorer cost them dearly.

The Hoyas are a No.3 seed in the Midwest Region and will open the 2012 NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 16 against the No. 14 seed Belmont Bruins in Columbus, Ohio.

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