It wasn’t even a discussion on Friday night: the No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles were far and away the best team on the floor at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly, knocking off No. 2 seed Georgetown 78-68.
All the credit in the world must be given to FGCU, who came out and not-so-metaphorically punched Georgetown in the face. The Hoyas, who were down 24-22 at the half, watched as the Eagles used a 28-9 run punctuated by dunk after dunk to open the second half.
FGCU was throwing alley-oops. Plural. On a Big East co-champion. Think about that.
What’s more disturbing is that this isn’t exactly an anomaly at this point. For the fourth consecutive season and for the fifth time in six years, Georgetown has been knocked out of the NCAA tournament by a double-digit seed.
– In 2008, they were the second victim of heavyweight serial killer Stephen Curry, losing to No. 10 seed Davidson in the second round as a No. 2 seed.
– In 2010, No. 3 seed Georgetown lost 97-83 to the DJ Cooper-led Ohio Bobcats in the first round in a game that they simply never seemed to have a chance.
– The same thing happened in 2011, when No. 11 seed VCU, fresh off of a win in the play-in game, drubbed the Hoyas 74-56 in the opening round of the tournament.
– Last year, No. 11 seed NC State picked off No. 3 seed Georgetown 66-63.
The biggest concern here isn’t the losses, although five straight disappointing tournament performances — in 2009, Georgetown went from being a top ten team to the NIT — is not exactly the kind of resume that a coach wants to put together. (It should be noted, ironically enough, that Georgetown made the Final Four in 2007.)
The concern is the utter lack of preparedness and energy that the Hoyas have shown in three of these losses.
Look, the way that the NCAA tournament is built, upsets are always going to happen. Whether it’s the result of a team or a player getting hot or a horrid matchup stylistically, in a one-and-done tournament format, there are going to be better teams that lose. It’s what makes March great and, if you’re on the wrong side of the final score, agonizingly painful.
But you want to at least see a team on the floor that’s ready to play.
And that’s what Georgetown has lacked in recent tournaments. They were run out of the gym by Ohio. They were run out of the gym by VCU. And on Friday night, they weren’t just run out of the gym, but they were blown out and dunked on and thoroughly embarrassed.
That’s a problem.
And there are going to have to be some questions answered.
Why isn’t Georgetown ready to play in March? Why are they coming out without energy or fire or passion? Why does it take a 19 point second half deficit for the Hoyas to finally wake up?
Is this an issue of leadership?
Is this simply a mental block? Do the Hoyas know that their M.O. is to get upset in the first weekend of the tournament?
Whatever the case may be, something here has to be fixed.
Because this isn’t a simply case of bad luck anymore.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.