Thank you, Georgetown, for making me look smart.
I went all-in on the Hoyas heading into Friday afternoon’s matchup between the No. 3 Hoyas and No. 14 Belmont. I was one of the few that wasn’t touting Belmont as the Upset Special of Friday’s action, and I was right. The Hoyas took control early, riding the hot hand of Jason Clark to a 23-12 lead midway through the first half. Henry Sims took over in the second half, and Georgetown was never really challenged as they cruised to a 74-59 win.
Jason Clark finished with 21 points and four boards while Henry Sims added 15 points and five assists.
Belmont’s problems weren’t necessarily on the offensive end of the floor. They got good looks from the perimeter and ended up shooting 10-27 from three, a reasonably good number. The issue was at the other end. The Bruins simply couldn’t get a stop. Georgetown shot 61.3% from the field, with an overwhelming number of those shots coming from point-blank range.
The frustrating part of this for Bruin fans is that this was the second straight season that Belmont was more than good enough to win a game or two in the NCAA Tournament and got stuck with a bad stylistic matchup in their first game. Last year, Rick Byrd’s team — which relied much more on forcing turnovers in their press — drew a Wisconsin team that was as efficient and patient offensively as any team in the country. This year, they drew the best team in the country at defending the three.
Byrd has developed a serious program in Nashville. They may be losing three starters — Drew Hanlen, Mick Hedgepeth and Scott Saunders — but with guys like Kerron Johnson and Ian Clarke coming back, Byrd will have a solid foundation for continued success.
The Bruins are done this season, but that program is here to stay.