Last year was a heavy disappointment for the Georgetown Hoyas, being ousted by DePaul in the Big East Tournament, and then being delegated to the NIT. This year, the Hoyas are back in the Big Dance and are ready to make a run after finishing 21-10 with a Big East Tournament semifinal appearance.
As announced on "Selection Sunday," Georgetown is the No. 4 seed in the South Region, and will tangle with the No. 13 seeded Eastern Washington Eagles of the Big Sky Conference. This is the 30th time that the Hoyas have made the NCAA Tournament and their strong nonconference schedule seemed to play dividends.
Inside the South Region is powerhouse Duke, the Iowa State Cyclones, Gonzaga Bulldogs as well as the Utah Utes and fellow Big East representative, St. John's.
When Georgetown junior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera saw where the Hoyas will be, the first thing he said was, "We're happy to be back here. We were not in this spot last year, so it will be a big test for us"."
DSR went furhter in depth on his point of emphasis. "It makes this one a little sweeter. We are looking forward to it and we know every game will be a challenge."
John Thompson III talked about being the fourth seed and also about Eastern Washington's seeding also.
"It speaks to the strength of our schedule, it speaks to the strength of our league and strength of our team," Hoyas coach John Thompson said of the four seed. "I'm quite honestly more surprised that they are a 13 than we are a four. I've seen them play, and they are a very good team. This time of year, 4, 13, it doesn't matter about the numbers. It's all about the opposition."
When the team walked in about 10 minutes before the show, freshman Isaac Copeland told me the team was very curious to see where they would wind up. Copeland said that the distance does not really matter because a lot of them have played on the AAU circuit, which involves a rich amount of traveling.
Copeland noted, "This has been the goal the entire year. Obviously we wanted the Big East [Championship], but we came up short. But all and all, we wanted to make the NCAA Tournament."
When he seen the name on the list, he, and the Hoyas, had a sense of relief.
The common thing that each person noted on the team was that Eastern Washington has the top scorer in the country in Tyler Harvey, who averages 22.9 points per game and is shooting 47 percent from the field. Thompson III noted that his team's defense has to be "outstanding".
One of Georgetown's seniors feels good to be back in the dance because this is his last chance. That Hoya is Jabril Trawick.
"This is The Big Dance, so it's not that hard to get motivated for," Trawick told me. "The young guys have to be ready to compete."