John Thompson III‘s No. 2 seed Georgetown Hoyas will attempt to ignore the ghosts of early rounds past when they face the No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles in the South Region at 6:50 p.m. ET Friday.
The Hoyas enter the 2013 NCAA Tournament having advanced to the second weekend just once since their Final Four run back in 2007, and receive a top-3 seeding for the first time since suffering the 14-over-3 upset against Ohio in 2010. However, not since that 2007 run has Georgetown’s pod, in Philadelphia, set up so ostensibly favorable with low-buzz squads in 10th-seed Oklahoma and 7th-seeded San Diego State playing for a spot as Georgetown’s third-round opposition.
That is IF — if Georgetown can survive and advance past a Florida Gulf Coast squad that did beat another No. 2 seed in Miami earlier this season. Couple that with Georgetown’s early-tournament struggles in recent years and we have the makings of a game that could be replayed for ages. Who knows? #madness
What to watch for:
The effectiveness of Georgetown’s Princeton offense will be under a heavy microscope coming in. While it’s played a major role in the Hoyas outplaying their seed deep into The Dance last decade, it has also been blamed for limiting their physical advantage in early-round matchups of recent years. Despite boasting the NCAA’s best player of the the past two months in Otto Porter (16.2 points per game, 48.9 percent from three), this offense only averages 64.6 points per game, good for 233rd in the nation.
For Florida Gulf Coast, it’s critical for Sherwood Brown, Bernard Thompson and Chase Fieler to get going early on offense, who all average over 12 points per game and could give Georgetown’s defense problems — but that’s only likely to happen if the Hoyas’ stout defensive unit (eighth in points per game) is thrown off by foul trouble. The Eagles do seem to possess somewhat of a depth advantage when it comes to playing experience, at least.
Georgetown’s looked too good on defense all year — especially recently — to allow another Ohio to happen. The Hoyas clamp down and win handily over the Atlantic Sun champs.