Although the committee considers each team’s entire résumé (get prepared to hear the phrase “body of work” a whole lot), how teams finish the regular season, among other factors, often helps determine who winds up on those four exclusive No. 1 lines. And after what happened last week, Georgetown’s late-season road show could definitely play well with the committee.
While three teams ahead of them in the national polls lost to unranked opponents this week, the seventh-ranked Hoyas won twice, including outlasting a solid Connecticut team in double overtime at Storrs, Conn. That was a good encore to the Hoyas’ signature victory of the season.
Georgetown’s Feb. 23 win over then-No. 8 Syracuse at the Carrier Dome is the sort of thing that tends to enhance a team’s profile. Through their surprisingly impressive play after starting the season unranked, Coach John Thompson III’s players are shouting, “Look at us.”
Georgetown extended its winning streak to 11 games with Saturday’s 64-51 victory over Rutgers. The Big East-leading Hoyas (23-4, 13-3) have won 13 of 14.
The Hoyas have two games remaining before the Big East tournament. They’re on the road Wednesday against Villanova and host Syracuse on Saturday in the Orange’s final Big East regular season game before leaving for the ACC next season. If Georgetown wins both games, it would enter the postseason on a 13-game streak, including road victories in three of its last five games.
That’s some good work away from home, especially this season. Many highly ranked teams have stumbled in unfriendly environments. Duke, Indiana and Michigan — also in the top-line discussion — had bad experiences last week against unranked Virginia, Minnesota and Penn State, respectively. Miami recently had a head-scratcher at Wake Forest. During a three-game losing streak in early February, Kansas flopped on the road against unranked TCU, the Big 12’s last-place team. The Hoyas have distinguished themselves as road warriors.
Georgetown’s effective road performance alone, however, likely won’t be enough for it to secure a top spot in the brackets. Fortunately for the Hoyas, there’s so much more they’ve done well.
Winning the Big East regular season title would be a major accomplishment. Let’s not forget, this isn’t the Big West we’re talking about. At least six Big East teams figure to receive tournament bids. The first-place team in a power conference, with the overall record and road credentials that Georgetown has, is certainly worthy of being rewarded by the committee.