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

For Georgetown Fans, It’s Time To Enjoy Being Goliath

It’s romantic to be the Cinderella, and it’s nice not to feel as though you or your team is under a lot of pressure to win, but if we as Georgetown fans want our team to truly return to prominence, it’s time to embrace the target on our collective back.

With a Big East regular season and tournament titles under their belts, the Hoyas entered the NCAA tournament as a No. 2 seed, their highest ranking since the Allen Iverson-led 1995-96 team. After lighting up the Big Apple, the Hoyas have as much momentum as any team in the tournament.

And the country has taken notice. Georgetown is a hot pick in many bracket challenges and office pools across America. Television analysts and writers have picked the Hoyas to go deep in this tournament, with ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons and Andy Katz and Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis picking Georgetown to reach the finals. Respected ESPN analysts Jay Bilas and Digger Phelps, along with the Washington Post’s Michael Wilbon, predict the Hoyas will win the entire tournament.

It’s a stark contrast from last year’s Georgetown team – the only Hoya squad to make the NCAA tournament since 2000-01. Seeded seventh – a spot that those of us who followed last year’s team knew was too low – the Hoyas disposed of Northern Iowa before upsetting the No.2-seeded Ohio State.

It was and is romantic to be the underdog, to wear Cinderella’s glass slipper. Most basketball fans have fond memories of March Madness upsets. Everyone fell in love with George ason last year and remembers when they upset top-seed UConn at Verizon Center. Few people, however, remember or speak about the next round when the Patriots were slaughtered by the Florida Gators on their way to the national championship.

Many fans remember when the Hampton Tigers knocked off the No. 2 seed Iowa State Cyclones in 2001. But outside of a few Georgetown fans, not many people talk about when Hampton was summarily dismissed from the tournament by our Hoyas in the very next round. And while many recall the heroics of Bryce Drew in leading his 14th-seeded Valparaiso team to a win over No. 3 seed Mississippi in 1998, few recall a mediocre Rhode Island team defeating Valpo later on in that tournament.

Television networks and other media outlets take joy in saying that anything can happen during March Madness. Anyone can defeat anyone else, and upsets are commonplace, they say. These claims help to boost ratings by building an aura of excitement around the tournament, and there is a certain amount of truth to them.

But the statistics and objective observation indicate that in general, the higher-seeded teams have the most tournament success. ore often than not, the giants from Philistia get the win over the stone-slinging kids from Bethlehem.

This year, though, the shoe will be on the other foot. The No. 2 seed themselves, the Hoyas wear the bullseye. Although some may lament the loss of the Hoyas’ underdog status, there is something important that fans must remember – this is where Georgetown belongs.

March Madness is the time of the year when sports fans hearken back to the biblical imagery of David and Goliath. Throughout the 1980s the Hoyas were better than anyone else at playing the Goliath role, and now we have taken it on again. Although it is a position to which many may not be accustomed, the Hoyas and their fans should embrace this role.

Yesterday’s game against Belmont was a perfect example. The Hoyas took on a fearless Bruins squad that put up a fight early on. But as the game progressed, Georgetown’s superior talent shone through, and they were able to cruise to a relatively easy win.

Tomorrow’s game against Boston College figures to be a bit more difficult, but similar in setup. The Eagles have a number of aggressive, head-strong players like Jared Dudley and Sean Marshall who are not going to back down from the favored Hoyas. Fans should expect BC to come out swinging. But in the end, the Hoyas are better athletes and better players, and should be able to move on to the Sweet 16 after defeating the Eagles.

This team has all of necessary the ingredients to go deep in this tournament, and with the success they’ve had in-conference and in the conference championship, there is no reason to believe that they can’t capitalize on it.

Yes, they are a No. 2 seed, and that means they are expected to win until the Elite 8. They don’t have the underdog storyline, and they aren’t a Cinderella. But Georgetown fans ought to be more than happy to trade less pressure for a legitimate chance to win the national championship.

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