NCAA Tourney: Georgetown vs. the No. 1 contenders

NCAA Tourney: Georgetown vs. the No. 1 contenders
March 4, 2013, 4:30 pm

Updated 10:22 p.m.

The streaking Georgetown Hoyas jumped to a season-high No. 5 ranking in the AP Top-25 poll released on Monday. Granted, rankings play no part in the NCAA Tournament selection or seeding process. Regardless, the Hoyas, winners of 11 straight, have defended and Otto Ported-ed their way into the top seed discussion.

Should Georgetown win out - two regular season games and possible three in the Big East Tournament remain - there only discussion involving  JTIII's squad will involve whether they are the overall No. 1 seed. Should they lose a game - and to a team headed to the NCAA's-, a top seed remains possible.

Of course, Georgetown's résumé does not live in a vacuum.  While some have better cases than others, 11 teams are arguably in the top line mix and certainly for the second seeds.

Here is how the Hoyas stack up against the other contenders:

 

NCAA Comparison Chart: How Georgetown Stacks Up

  W-L(D1) RPI SOS NC-SOS Top 50 Top 100 Road L10
Duke 25-54 1 1 1 8-2 13-4 4-4 8-2
Florida 23-5 7 23 10 4-3 12-5 7-4 7-3
Georgetown 23-4 10 40 201 7-3 11-3 6-2 10-0
Gonzaga 28-2 11 94 33 5-2 11-2 10-1 10-0
Indiana 25-4 6 19 51 7-4 10-4 6-2 8-2
Louisville 24-5 5 11 37 6-4 10-5 8-3 8-2
Kansas 25-4 4 16 23 9-3 13-3 7-2 7-3
Miami 23-5 3 4 3 6-2 13-3 10-3 8-2
Michigan 23-5 9 49 171 8-4 10-4 4-5 6-4
Michigan St 21-7 8 5 53 7-7 8-7 6-5 6-4
New Mexico 25-4 2 3 5 8-3 17-4 7-3 8-2

 

*Don't pen any team into a No. 1 slot just yet, but Duke's record, RPI and strength of schedule makes them a heavy favorite. Since Georgetown cannot play in the East Region because the Round of 16 and regional finals are at the Verizon Center, the Blue Devils would likely stay on the right coast. Based on its schedule and potential ACC Tournament matchups, Duke will play no more than two Top-50 RPI teams the rest of the season. Including its last two regular season games and a potential run to the Big East championship game, Georgetown could play 3-5. Wednesday's opponent Villanova has an RPI of 55. Cincinnati, a potential quarterfinal opponent, is 59.

*Should Gonzaga avoid an upset in the upcoming West Coast Conference Tournament, expect Mark Few's squad to become the top seed in the West region. Definitely curious to see how the Bulldogs handle being No. 1 for the first time in the program's history. Gonzaga is 2-0 against the RPI Top-25. Georgetown is 3-2 with a regular season game against Syracuse (15) remaining. Potential Big East Tournament opponents include Louisville (5) and Marquette (12)

*From there...considering the Big Ten's dominance on the national stage this season, odds are likely that one of the conference's contenders becomes a top seed - and likely in the Midwest region...Kansas is the current favorite for the final No. 1 seed. The Jayhawks trump the Hoyas in the various numbers and have a favorable schedule all the way to the Big 12 title game where they would likely face Kansas State or Oklahoma State...Miami's large number of road and top-50 wins puts the Canes on the cusp. They could jump Duke or give the ACC two teams on the top line by winning out and beating the Dukies in the conference championship game.

*Even though Georgetown cannot play in the East region, the Hoyas are in play for the first weekend games in Philadelphia. Now that Syracuse has faded, Duke is the only other probable high-seeded team that makes for an obvious fit for the games in the City of Brotherly Love. If not a trip to Philadelphia then the Hoyas likely get shipped to Dayton. 

*Let's imagine Georgetown is a No. 1 seed. Again, the Hoyas cannot play in the East. Duke is the fave for that region. Gonzaga would be the obvious team out West (plus there is a calendar aspect, but more on this in a sec). With several Midwest-based teams involved (Indiana, Kansas, Michigan State, Michigan), likely one emerges as the top seed there. That leaves the South as the most likely call for Georgetown, meaning a trip to Jerry's World, i.e. Cowboys Stadium.

*What about as a second-seed. Once again, no East. Note the games at the Verizon Center are scheduled for March 28 and 30, same days as the West region. Would the selection committee have the Hoyas play on the same day live games are held in the D.C. area? Let's hope not.

Now say Indiana is the No. 1 in the Midwest. The committee would not put Michigan State or Michigan in the same region as Indiana. That leaves the Midwest and South available.  When in doubt, the actual bracket deciders historically prefer avoiding previous matchups from the same season. Georgetown played Indiana this season. Therefore, the lay of the land suggests that as a No. 2 seed, the Hoyas would also play in the South region (but the Midwest is more likely here than as a No. 1 seed.

* Last four in: Villanova, St. Mary's Virginia, Kentucky - Unless the Wildcats implode over the final two weeks, nobody believes the selection committee will leave John Calipari's team out of the Field of 68, right?

* First four out: Iowa State, Boise State, Tennessee, Maryland - The Terps remaining on this list shows how Charmin soft the at-large options truly are.

*Next four out: UMass, Southern Miss, Ole Mis, Baylor