Georgetown versus the South Region, Part 2

Georgetown versus the South Region, Part 2
March 19, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Part 2 of our look at how Georgetown fares against the other teams in the South Region. In reverse order, we ranked 11 teams potentially in the Hoyas' path in order of potential difficulty. Click here for Part 1.

*North Carolina: 24-10, No. 8 seed, regional final

Pros: With the Tar Heels primarily using four guards plus agile forward James Michael McAdoo, the Hoyas would have size advantage, especially if John Thompson III deploys Porter in the lane. With Porter's ability to defend the perimeter, Georgetown's trio of guards and Aaron Bowen waiting in the wings, the Hoyas have the bodies needed to keep up with the Heels.

Cons: With the Tar Heels primarily using five perimeter players, it's a mystery how JT3 would deploy Lubick or Moses Ayegba defensively. Also, UNC was among the better rebounding teams on both ends of the court in the ACC even with the smaller lineup. Like the Hoyas, lengthy is a term often used to describe the players Roy Williams puts on the court.

*Michigan: 26-7, No. 4 seed, regional final

Pros: This would be a true strength against strength matchup. Per KenPom, the Wolverines are second nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency, while the Hoyas are fourth on the defensive side. Michigan averages 75 points per game while Georgetown allows 56. The Hoyas have not allowed 70 or more in regulation since UCLA scored 70 in a loss back in November; Indiana scored 82 with 18 coming in overtime and Connecticut needed double-OT to reach 78. The "pro" angle is that Georgetown's done a better job over the second half of the season playing at the pace it desires - and four of Michigan's losses came when scoring 62 or less points. Also, even though the Hoyas may be the only team in the entire field of 68 without a senior, the Wolverines are the most inexperienced team in the entire tournament.

Cons: The Hoyas are scoring challenged at times. If Michigan guard Trey Burke, the National Player of the Year frontrunner in most circles, is at his scoring and distributing best, the Hoyas may not have enough point-producing punch to keep up. The Wolverines are also rank No. 1 in turnover percentage, per KenPom.

*VCU: 26-8, No. 5 seed, regional final

Pros: All the talk about the Rams "Havoc" defenses hides the fact that VCU's base defense is subpar. The Rams rank 258th nationally in two-point field goal percentage defense and 65th among the 68 NCAA teams. Turn the game into a half court affair and the Hoyas passing game could shred the Rams. Of course...

Cons: We all remember the Rams pressure and 3-point shooters engulfing the Hoyas during the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The players are largely different, but Shaka Smart remains on the VCU bench. Under his direction, the Rams are 26-1 this season when their opponent has 15 or more turnovers, 0-7 when the miscues are below 15. In 18 Big East games, the Hoyas committed 15 or more turnovers six times, going 3-3. Between Porter and the three primary guards, Georgetown can put ball handlers on the court, though they lack the ideal pure traffic cop among its options.

*Florida: 26-7, No. 3 seed, Round of 16

Pros: The biggest pro of all, the Aircraft Carrier matchup lives - and minus the outdoor scene and the slippery conditions that cancelled the season opener after halftime.

The Gators are darlings of the numbers crunchers because they win and win big. Florida does not have a single victory by single digits. That's a surreal stat, but what I 100 percent believe in the axiom that to win close games you actually have to go through the process of winning closes games. In contests decided by nine points or less, Florida is 0-6 while Georgetown is 11-3.The Hoyas methodical offensive approach and stingy defense should indeed make a matchup come down to the final minutes. Let's see the Gators win such a scenario before saying they will.

Cons: Perhaps the lack of an end-game scorer hurts the Gators late, but they have a shooter in 6-foot-10 Erik Murphy), a point-producing, but helter-skelter guard in Kenny Boynton and a needed glue guy guard Scottie Wilbekin. Obviously Billy Donovan knows what he's doing in the tournament, though Florida has collapsed in consecutive regional finals. Florida is the only team in the country to rank top-5 in KenPom's adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency ratings. We'll see if the numbers speak for themselves.

*Kansas: 29-5, No. 1 seed, regional final

Pros: The Jayhawks are good at many things, but not when it comes to turnovers, committing or creating. Point Elijah Johnson epitomizes erratic play and often as he goes, so go the Jayhawks offense.

Cons: Any discussion about the nation's top defense includes Georgetown - but right now probably ends with the answer being Kansas. The Jayhawks lead the nation in effective FG percentage defense with center Jeff Whitey, arguably the country's top shot blocker, roaming inside. On the other end, wing guard Ben McLemore produces buckets as do the Jayhawks collectively from all angles.

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