2013 NCAA Tournament: 5 Reasons Why Georgetown Will Win the South Region
5 Reasons Why Georgetown Will Win the South Region
The nation's capital may have its results preordained by Nate Silver when it comes to the Congress and the White House, but the stat-crunching oracle can't possibly find such success when it comes to the NCAA tournament. Across Washington D.C. from the Capitol Building and White House, Georgetown basketball is distracting the city's imagination from legislative gridlock and all those depressing matters, and it's up to John Thompson III's squad to prolong this enjoyable respite for the area.
According to Silver, however, the No. 2 seed Hoyas don't come all that close to possessing the highest odds of coming out of the South Region, even eclipsed not just by No. 1 seed Kansas but also by No. 3 seed Florida.
"Georgetown, the No. 2 seed, is dinged by the computers for having a mediocre offense," Silver explains, "which Ken Pomeroy’s rankings regard as being the 62nd best in the country. … As much as the conventional wisdom might chide Florida for having performed poorly in the clutch, there is an abundance of statistical evidence that a team’s record in close games is mostly a matter of luck, and that this luck turns around often enough."
Silver fleshes out his take on the South Region further in the FiveThiryEight blog, but I'm here to provide five reasons Georgetown can reach the Final Four.
Note: The slides ahead won't delve too far into longer-shots that Georgetown could face in the later rounds and basically assumes the Hoyas can get past No. 5 seed Florida Gulf Coast before escaping a relatively easy pod. These slides do focus on the teams with the highest probability of facing Georgetown, but is not merely counting everyone else out. Let me make that clear. (There's my best Silver impression.)
John Thompson III
Thompson's Princeton-style offense has arguably hurt the Hoyas in early rounds of recent years as it's perceived to be less successful against less athletic opponents, but can prove frustrating against recruiting powerhouses that typically reach the second weekend. Fortunately for Georgetown, they've received an ostensibly soft draw for a two-seed in the first weekend.
After jumping out to an 11-point lead early and carrying that into the second half, Florida allowed bubble-team Mississippi to rally for a 66-63 win in their last contest. This could end up meaning nothing, but this loss seems more suspect than Georgetown's overtime loss to Syracuse in their last game. You say "recency bias," I say feh!
While Pomeroy does rank Florida two spots ahead of Georgetown in his adjusted defense rating — both in the top 5 — the Hoyas have been more stingy of late, allowing fewer than 60 points in their last five Big East contests.
Ready for McLemore
No. 1 seed Kansas is led by a prolific freshman in Ben McLemore, but he'll be a freshman facing an extremely good defensive backcourt if Georgetown reaches the Elite 8.
It all starts and ends with Otto Porter, NCAA Player of the Year candidate and Hoyas leader in points per game and rebounds, who will be the best player on the court in every game unless the Hoyas face Michigan's Trey Burke. He would also provided a frustrating element for VCU's #havoc defense, or really almost any opposition.