Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Burton’s Heroics Lift GU, Face Hampton Saturday

After a magical tournament debut, Georgetown’s next dance belongs to Cinderella.

The Hoyas, who beat Arkansas, 63-61 on Thursday, will play Hampton University, the team seeded next to last in the West Region that pulled the biggest surprise of the NCAA Tournament’s first day by beating second-seeded Iowa State, 58-57.

The Pirates clinched a berth in the second round and secured the most impressive victory of Hampton’s men’s basketball program’s history when senior forward Tarvis Williams made a four-foot jump shot with 6 seconds remaining. Hampton, a 133-year-old historically black school with 5,700 students in southeastern Virginia, became just the fourth No. 15 seed to advance past the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

No. 10 seeded Georgetown, which also needed last-minute heroics, moved past the first round for the first time since going to the Elite Eight in 1996. Against Arkansas, senior guard Nat Burton made the winning layup as time expired for the Hoyas.

Georgetown saw its chances of advancing to the Sweet 16 improve dramatically with Hampton’s victory.

The Hoyas feature a deeper bench than Hampton, and their trio of seven-footers gives them a size advantage over the smaller Pirates.

It was the play of Georgetown’s guards, however, that ended the Razorbacks’ season. Junior Kevin Braswell and seniors Anthony Perry and Burton outscored Arkansas’ top three guards 26-10.

The Hoyas will play a resilient Hampton team on Saturday at 5:50 p.m. EST that silenced highly regarded Iowa State despite posting fewer rebounds, more turnovers and a lower shooting percentage.

Williams starred for the Pirates, finishing with 16 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots. Georgetown senior center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje will likely draw the defensive assignment against the 6-foot-9 senior forward, who averaged 22 points and seven rebounds during the regular season.

Senior guard Marseilles Brown should also present a tough matchup for Braswell, who had 12 points and four fouls against Arkansas. Brown scored 14 points against Iowa State, but more importantly held the Cyclones’ star guard Jamaal Tinsley to just nine points.

To be sure, Georgetown’s greatest hurdle against Hampton may be psychological. The Hoyas have stumbled against teams they were favored highly against, as they will likely be on Saturday. Losses to Pittsburgh, Villanova and Providence, all regarded as less talented than Georgetown, made the Hoyas road to the NCAA Tournament more difficult than it should have been.

How the Hoyas handle being the favorite against Hampton will determine whether they will live to dance again.

Related Links

 Box Score vs. Arkansas (First Round)

 Printable Bracket

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