Georgetown has a had a bad history of being a high seed in the region that they are placed in. After missing the NCAA Tournament last year, the Hoyas have some ground to make up and it starts against Eastern Washington, who has the top scorer in the country in Tyler Harvey. Harvey is averaging 22.9 points per game and the team is a top 3 team in scoring. Georgetown, on the other hand, is in the top 20 in terms of defensive efficiency. The Eagles are a good team, but they have had some bad losses to teams that they should have won against. The biggest win that stands out on the schedule is against Indiana.
Georgetown comes into this game as a good team on both offense and defense, while the Eagles are a good offensive team, but not on the defensive. They are as balanced as the Hoyas, but it will be a tough match-up depending on which team will start. One thing to note is that the Eagles are favored by the national media by 8 points and the head coach said nationally they will beat the Hoyas. Georgetown have way more talent than the team they are competing against, but if they want to win and move on to the next round, here is what to watch out for.
Georgetown has to defend the perimeter
The nation's leading scorer, Tyler Harvey is a killer from deep and he makes a lot of his shots. Harvey is shooting close to 43 percent from the perimeter, which is pretty good, but a reason may be that a lot of the opposing team defenses have not been as good. When teams face Georgetown and shoot the ball from behind the arc, they are making 33 percent of those shots, which is okay, but it does not get higher than that. The one player on the Hoyas who will have a impact on Harvey is Tre Campbell. Campbell is a player that can guard the full court, and knows how to make shooters work for perimeter shots. Not only is Harvey a good shooter, but the team as a whole is good from the perimeter because according to KenPom, they rank 14th in the nation in making shots from the perimeter. It will be a test for the Hoyas.
The one thing to consider about Harvey scoring is that the 23 points may be skewed because his team did not face many D-1 opponents this year, but he still put up good numbers. At 6'4'', he can do a lot on on the offensive side of the ball. Georgetown is 6-5 against teams who are in the top 100 of effective field goal percentage. The losses came against Wisconsin, Villanova, and the three losses to Xavier. Georgetown has gone 4-2 against teams in the nation's top 100 in three-point percentage, Eastern's strongest trait, and 7-1 against teams that score at least a third of their points from 3. Even so, Eastern's willingness and ability to jack the three could turn the game in a hurry. It will be interesting to see how many three's the Eagles jack up during the course of the game because a lot of attention will be on the guards.
Georgetown has to take advantage of the bad defense
Georgetown can't go 5 minutes or longer without scoring against one of the worst defenses in the world of college basketball and that is Eastern Washington. The Eagles defense ranks 290th and the Hoyas offense ranks 86th in the nation. Georgetown's effective field goal percentage is 50.9, while the Eagles' defense is allowing teams, on average, to shoot 52 percent. Georgetown has only played six teams with below average defenses and that includes Towson, Radford, Charlotte, Indiana, and DePaul twice. From Georgetown's perspective, they are doing a really good job at scoring the ball against these below-average defenses. The Hoyas are scoring close to 79 points against these six teams and per 100 possessions, they're scoring 1.20 points on each one. Only four teams have done that and they are all 1,1,1,3 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
Georgetown scores the ball a lot inside and in the mid-range area. They will need to use that to their advantage because they are playing against a really bad defense. In the six-games against sub-par defenses,Georgetown's perimeter percentage went up from 34.7 percent to 41.4 percent, which is really good. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera will need to take advantage of the poor defense because the team can not guard the perimeter at all. Smith-Rivera loves the shot from behind the arc especially in transition, so it will be important that he gets going and get some confidence going earlier.
Who will win?
Even thought in the past, Georgetown has a lost to double-digits seed, they have more talent and anybody on this team can contribute to the game in many ways. The reason Georgetown will win because they have been really, really, good against bad defenses like Eastern Washington's. The Eagles head coach did put some pressure on his team saying, "We will beat Georgetown." With an offense like the Hoyas and the size that they have, it will be hard for the Eagles to overcome because Joshua Smith will be able to take over the game at any point.