ATB: Hoyas Sink, Horns Swim…Posted by rtmsf on March 2nd, 2010
#8 West Virginia 81, #20 Georgetown 68. Georgetown’s margin for error is just not very large against good teams, especially top ten teams on the road. It showed tonight as the Hoyas clearly missed the third primary scoring option that Austin Freeman, out with the stomach flu, typically provides. WVU’s Da’Sean Butler, playing in front of the home fans for the last time, dropped 22/6/6 assts in a well-balanced Mountaineer effort that jumped on top of Georgetown early and never relented. With this win, West Virginia clinched a double-bye in next week’s Big East Tournament and still has a chance at the overall #2 seed with some luck and a weekend win over Villanova. Georgetown has now lost four of five games, and two of those losses (Notre Dame and Rutgers) were inexcusable for a team with their talent. It could be that the heavy minutes are wearing down JT3’s team, as four starters average over 33 MPG and the Hoya defense has been considerably less potent recently than it was when beating top-10 teams like Duke and Villanova. One thing is for certain, though. For Georgetown to make any noise whatsoever in the Big East Tournament or NCAA Tournament this year, they have to get production from all four of Freeman, Greg Monroe, Chris Wright and and Jason Clark/Julian Vaughn at the same time. With one more loss on Saturday against Cincinnati, the Hoyas will drop to 9-9 and jeopardize their chances at an all-important first round bye in the Big East Tournament next week.
#25 Texas 87, Oklahoma 76. For a while it appeared that the Longhorn meltdown was imminent, as visiting Oklahoma took an 11-point lead five minutes into the second half as Cade Davis and Tony Crocker repeatedly lit up the Texas defense. An 11-2 run got Rick Barnes’ team back into the game, and with Damion James (24/8) and Jordan Hamilton (12/11) finding their way to the hole for layups, UT avoided the unthinkable tonight in a game that should bolster their confidence. It was just six short weeks ago that Texas was the #1 team in the land, but the shutdown defense that got the Horns to that lofty spot has been largely missing since, and tonight we only saw it in spurts as the Sooners shot 48% and hit ten threes. Additionally, the J’Covan Brown experiment as a starter appears to have been nixed, as Justin Mason got the nod (3/3 in 21 minutes) and Brown easily outdid his last two performances (15/5 in 33 minutes) off the pine. Texas is safely in the NCAA Tournament, but right now they appear to be a directionless team who, if they’re not careful, will be walking into a lion’s den at Baylor next weekend.