March Madness is back. Having disconnected the cable about a year ago, I had to trek out to the local watering hole to catch the Big East final between my Hoyas and West Virginia last weekend. It was raining something spectacular, and Xianyi and I were hanging at home. I said, “Well, I’ve gotta go watch this game. I’ll be back in two hours.” Wherein I proceeded to one of the many shitty bars that I despise, alone, and sure to run into no one. It’s literally 45 seconds away, and I was drenched when I got there.
Georgetown lost on the final shot, which was some kind of miracle thrown up in desperation, and maybe the ugliest winning shot of any game in the history of basketball, but whatever. We have more Big East trophies than any other team, and this was the first for the Mountaineers. So, well done. Now we move onto the Big Dance.
How you like them Hoyas?
So Tiger’s coming back. Everybody knew he’d never miss the Masters. But why no warm-up tournament? I gotta think Arnie is a little miffed that Tiger won’t be at Bay Hill. My theory is that Billy Payne and the Augusta whitebreads will enforce a strict zero-sex-questions policy in the press tent, and employ plainclothes officers to follow El Tigre around the course from outside the ropes, ready to make an example of any “patrons” who wanna get cute.
My beloved Hoyas were cut down by this little superstar, Stephen Curry. He has really been hot in this NCAA tournament. After a day of stewing over our wasted opportunity, I’m ready to accept that we just plain got beat.
I mean, how do you blow a 17-point second-half lead? Roy Hibbert, how do you decide to forgo the NBA draft after last season to come back and settle for getting denied the ball so many times in the low post?
I was so disappointed. But now I’ve moved on. I’m excited about next season, with the establishment of Chris Wright, our freshman guard who has such presence already. As for now, I’m rooting for Curry to take Davidson all the way. Might as well root for the cinderella.
And now I’d like to quote some key analysis from my main man on Capitol Hill, Mac McGoo, who was dropping knowledge:
Agreed on Wright being a stud. He plays with a lot of energy and passion. Not to take anything away from Sapp, Wallace and Freeman, but it’s nice to finally have a guard who can slash to the hoop. I think it will open up a lot of opportunities for other players on the court and keep defenses more honest.
I think Hibbert, unfortunately in the end, didn’t do himself any favors, draft position-wise, in coming back. That said, I think he improved parts of his game, especially passing. In the end, my guess is that scouts will see a 7′ 2″ dude with good hands and feet who may be too soft and kind-hearted to excel in the NBA. none of that means that a team won’t take a chance on him in the late first round or second round, and hope that he turns out ok. You can’t teach a player size.
My beloved Hoyas are starting the season off just the way they ended it last year – by dominating.
Ok, they didn’t totally dominate last year. They lost in the final four to Ohio State – but they dominated up to that point. They won the Big East (regular season AND tournament) and made it to the final four. One of their stars, Jeff Green, now plays for the Seattle Supersonics. The other one, Roy Hibbert, is still here.
Having Hibbert come back for his senior year rather than enter the NBA draft (where he definitely would have been a top pick) is a huge score for the Hoyas. He has led the team past all their opponents so far (they are 6-0 and ranked 4th in the nation) and – even better – when he has been off or in foul trouble his teammates have picked up the slack and come through in the clutch.
In fact, this story from ESPN argues that Georgetown is learning how to do just that – close out the big games. Still, we’ll have to wait and see. They look good now, but we all know the real tests don’t come until we’re about 10 games into the season. We should have no trouble tomorrow with Jacksonville, or the next game against Radford. But on the 22nd we’ll face #2 Memphis.
I also want to note what a fun time I had watching the game the other night against Alabama. For the first time in years, I was with old friends from Georgetown – Crum and Berks, Bobby PuNob and Joey Toce, plus surprise guests Frank TJ Mackie and Danny Deo. Kudos to Crum for offering his pad to host!
I woke up early last Monday morning to watch the Hoyas take on the famed Tarheels of the University of North Carolina, a school with a basketball program among the most hallowed in the nation. They have been to th Final Four something like 16 times. Twenty-five years ago, the Hoyas met the Tarheels in the NCAA Finals only to lose when a freshman named Michael Jordan hit a 17-ft jumper to go up by one with 17 seconds to play. Talk about history.
So said Georgetown big man Patrick Ewing, Jr., son of the legendary Georgetown big man of yore, Patrick Ewing, after winning the Big East Championship under Coach John Thompson III, son of legendary Georgetown Coach of yore John Thompson, Jr.
I have nothing to add to that except: Feel the fear. Hoya Paranoia is here.
Picture: Jeff Green towers over a Notre Dame opponent.
Georgetown is finally back where it belongs in the basketball world: on top.
The Hoyas have won eleven in a row, their longest winning streak in a dozen years, and after beating Pittsburgh the other day, they are are now number one in the Big East conference. Led by big man Roy Hibbert and the powerful Jeff Green, Georgetown is looking to make waves in this year’s NCAA tournament. But first they must finish off Syracuse and UConn in the final two games of the season.
If only I was back in New York, I would be trying to score tickets to the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden!