As of Monday, March 18, 2013
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
Preview: Florida Gulf Coast vs. Georgetown
After losing out on a No. 1 seed, second-seeded Georgetown faces a dangerous Florida Gulf Coast team in the NCAA Tournament's South Region in Philadelphia. The Hoyas have won 13 of their last 15 games, but they dropped out of consideration for a top seed after losing to Syracuse in overtime in the semifinals of the Big East tournament. No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast earned its first NCAA Tournament bid after beating Mercer in the Atlantic Sun Conference title game.
The Hoyas have been eliminated by a double-digit seed in four of the last five NCAA Tournaments, and they won't want to underestimate the Eagles. Florida Gulf Coast defeated ACC champion Miami by 12 and were competitive in games against St. John's and Iowa State. Georgetown features Big East Player of the Year Otto Porter Jr., but his supporting cast might be the key to a lengthy postseason run.
TV: 6:50 p.m. ET, TBS
ABOUT GEORGETOWN (25-6): The Hoyas finished in a three-way tie for the Big East regular-season championship with Porter leading the way. The sophomore forward led his team in scoring (16.3) and rebounding (7.4), and he drew high praise from Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim after the Hoyas' loss on Friday. "I think he's the best all-around player I've seen in this league," Boeheim said. "There's been so many great players, but I don't think I've seen a better small forward in this league. He's just a complete player." Florida Gulf Coast will undoubtedly focus on slowing down Porter, meaning Markel Starks and sixth-man D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera will need big games. Starks is second on the team in scoring (12.5) and leads the Hoyas with 59 3-pointers.
ABOUT FLORIDA GULF COAST (24-10): The Eagles have been off since winning the Atlantic Sun championship game on March 9, when they beat Mercer 88-75. In just its second year of eligibility for the Division I postseason, Florida Gulf Coast enters the NCAA Tournament on a five-game winning streak. The Eagles are paced by senior guard Sherwood Brown, who led his team in scoring (15.3) and rebounding (6.4) and was named the conference player of the year. Florida Gulf Coast featured the top offense in the Atlantic Sun, but it will be tested by Georgetown's stingy defense. Sophomore guard Brett Comer, who leads the team in assists (6.3), was named the conference tournament MVP after scoring 21 points in the title game.
The winner will advance to face seventh-seeded San Diego State or 10th-seeded Oklahoma on Sunday in Philadelphia.
Florida Gulf Coast led the Atlantic Sun Conference in 3-point defense, limiting opponents to 31.1 percent.
Georgetown held opponents to fewer than 60 points in 20 of its 31 games.
PREDICTION: Georgetown 63, Florida Gulf Coast 50