When I wrote the Georgetown NCAA Tournament preview two days ago I started their ‘tournament prospects’ section with…
“Georgetown’s opening game against Florida Gulf Coast is no gimme, folks. The Eagles already topped one #2 seed this year – the Miami Hurricanes way back in the beginning of the season. So to look past them before the ball is tipped is a mistake. Nah, I’m just kidding, people. The Hoyas will make easy work of the Eagles on Friday evening.”
Well, the joke is on me because the Hoyas just fell to the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 78-68. Georgetown’s fourth ranked defense in the country (according to kenpom.com) surrendered 78 or more points during the season just twice and both of those games went to overtime; an 82-72 loss to Indiana and a 79-78 win at UConn in double OT.
From the start, FGCU took the court with the attitude that they belonged on the same stage as Georgetown. The first half was rather ugly, not uncharacteristic by Georgetown standards, but the Eagles were able to take a 24-22 lead into the half. While it was only a two point lead, it gave FGCU an enormous shot of confidence for when they came back out of the locker room. And did it ever show.
They went on to dominate the entire second half.
The lead was stretched to 17 at one point and at the under four minute media timeout, the lead was 14. It felt like they were making everything, from anywhere, and when looking at the box score, I’m surprised to see they only converted six 3-pointers total. It felt like 20. They were also throwing down monster dunk after monster dunk including an alley-oop in transition at the two minute mark that put an exclamation point on the victory.
Georgetown made a push down the stretch with Markel Starks hitting back-to-back 3-pointers and their press caused problems for FGCU, but it was too little too late. The Hoyas, who looked to be one of the best teams in the country just two weeks ago, never looked interested in trying hard until the game was primarily out of reach.
Florida Gulf Coast made my comment from two days look bad, but they made the Georgetown Hoyas, a legit national title contender, look really bad. You gotta love this tournament.