(3) Georgetown vs. (14) Belmont Preview
Senior NBA Writer & College Basketball Editor
Follow @Yannis KoutroupisYannis Koutroupis
(3) Georgetown Hoyas
There weren’t a lot of people outside of the Hoyas’ locker room at the beginning of the season who thought they would be in the tournament, let alone nationally ranked at the end of the regular season. John Thompson III has put together another Hoyas team that is well balanced with versatile players who can do a little bit of everything. Jason Clark leads the way offensively with 14 points a night; Hollis Thompson (13), Henry Sims (11) and Otto Porter (9) are right behind him. Each of them are ready to step up take over offensively if a team tries to focus in on one of them in particular. The Hoyas are one of the best defensive teams in the field. They really clamp down beyond the arc, where teams shot just 27 percent against them on the year. They’re a mediocre three-point shooting team themselves, but that didn’t stop them from going 8-4 against the RPI Top 50. The Hoyas are looking to win their first tournament game since 2008.
(14) Belmont Bruins
For the fifth time in six years, the Bruins are representing the Atlantic Sun Conference after winning the regular season and tournament championships. The rest of the league will not miss them as they are set to join the Ohio Valley Conference next season. The Bruins, in search of their first tournament victory in school history, are one of the highest scoring teams in the field, scoring 81 a night. Six players average eight or more for them, led by junior Kerron Johnson’s 14 points a night. In the six-foot-ten, 250 lbs. Scott Saunders they have a legitimate center who will keep them from being completely mismatched against high-major big men. Bruins head coach Rick Byrd will play as many as nine, sometimes even 10, guys to make sure they can keep the pace they want to offensively. The Bruins play very well together, averaging 17 assists a team. Their assist-to-turnover ratio is among the best in the tourney. Against the RPI Top 25, they were 0-2, but they did play Duke to within a point at the beginning of the season.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: Georgetown. The Hoyas’ balanced attack will be too hard for Belmont to match.
Who do you think is going win? Chime in by leaving a comment below!