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Viewers Challenged as Georgetown Hoyas Defeat Tennessee Volunteers 37-36 in the SEC/Big East Challenge

Evan Habeeb-US Presswire

If you heard the buzzer go off in the Verizon Center slightly before 8:27 p.m. and saw the 37-36 score , you might have thought it was half time.

No, that was the final score.  The No. 20 Georgetown Hoyas (5-1) defeated the Tennessee Volunteers (4-2), 37-36 in what was built by ESPN as a showdown in the first of a double-header in the SEC/Big East Challenge.

It was more of a let down. Sure, a win is a win.  But these were the newly ranked Hoyas; the surprise of the Big East Conference.  Gonna put on a show.  Not.

It was hard to watch.  But easy to follow.  Heck, they only scored about a point a minute.

Even defensive-minded enthusiasts had to cringe at the woeful shooting, with both teams under 37 percent from the field.  The Vols led 18-16 at the half. Both teams went scoreless in the last four minutes of the game.  No players reached double figures.

Granted, both teams play some serious defense.  But this was not a defensive smack down.  This was some offensive offense, ripe with air balls and errant passes.

At times the players appeared lethargic, even when the game was on the line.   Georgetown had the ball with a chance to ice the win when Greg Whittington tossed an easy pass to the usually sure-handed Otto Porter, who appeared caught off guard.   The ball passed through Porter’s hands and flew into the stands to give the Vols a chance to make the winning basket with 20.9 seconds.

No worries though.  Down by one with a chance to upset a Top 20 team, on the road, on national television, the Vols threw up a horrendous three-point attempt, capping their loss by going 0-6 down the stretch.

These are not bad teams.  These are good teams that played badly. Real bad.

For Hoyas fans this win must have felt less satisfying than that Thanksgiving turkey the Georgetown players are still apparently trying to digest.  So let’s just chalk this up to post-Turkey detox.

The impressive Hoyas, the ones that took out the high-flying UCLA Bruins and nearly upset the No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers, will be back.

Merlisa blogs about Georgetown and Big East basketball.  Follow her own Twitter: @merlisa