After a big win against the Eastern Washington Eagles on Thursday night, the Georgetown Hoyas are back in action against the Utah Utes with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. While Georgetown looked more convincing in their victory than Utah, that really doesn't matter now. This should be one of, if not the, best matchups on Saturday. Here are three things to watch for.
Utah's size may give Georgetown trouble
Utah may have some of the best balance in the country. They have great guard play (Delon Wright and Dakarai Tucker), while also having talent in the post in Jakob Poeltl and Jordan Loveridge. If Joshua Smith picks up two early fouls, expect Poeltl to have a big first half. The 7-foot freshman improved game-by-game this season, and he had 18 points, eight rebounds, and five blocks against Stephen F. Austin Thursday. Smith has gotten four or more fouls in 18 games this season. Simply put, he needs to stay on the court for Georgetown to be effective.
Georgetown has one of the best guards in the country
While Utah probably has the advantage in the post, Georgetown has it in the backcourt. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera has carried the team time and time again this season, including his 25 point performance against Eastern Washington on Thursday. That was his ninth game of scoring 20 or more points this season. While Delon Wright is good for Utah, he's not DSR. There are a number of great guards in the Big East, as shown by six of the seven Big East First Team spots going to guards. DSR is right up there with Kris Dunn and Darrun Hilliard as being the best in the conference. He'll have to continue to show it.
So, we've established Utah has an advantage down low, Georgetown has one in the backcourt. Who has the better bench? Well, that's part of the reason this game is going to be so good, and so hard to predict. These two teams are both incredibly deep and balanced. Utah has six players that average at least five points a game, Georgetown has eight. Georgetown also has nine players than play at least 15 minutes a game, while Utah only has seven. Ultimately, I think Georgetown pulls it off. But I think it'll be a result of some ridiculous production from an unsung hero like Paul White.