Saturday, February 28, 2009

Georgetown 56, Villanova 54

Yeah, because that makes a lot of sense.

Georgetown goes on the road to play the No. 12 team in the nation, commits 25 turnovers, spots that No. 12 team 17 free-throw attempts...and wins the game?

Just a brutal loss for Villanova, with consequences up and down the standings. First, it clinches that two-day bye for UConn no matter what happens in the Notre Dame game currently in progress. Second, it severely damages Nova's chances of cracking that top four and joining the Huskies in two-bye territory. They now have to win at Notre Dame and beat Providence at home, and hope either Pitt finishes 1-2 or Marquette finishes 0-3. Either or both of those two things could happen, since Pitt finishes at Seton Hall/Marquette/UConn and Marquette finishes at Louisville/at Pitt/Syracuse. But the Wildcats' margin for error is toast, thanks to an inexcusable loss.

And call me a grouch, but I don't buy the idea that this gets Georgetown back into the bubble discussion. I think (a) too much damage has been done already and (b) I've seen enough to get a bad feeling that they'll slip up in one of their final two games -- either at St. John's or, more disastrously, at home against DePaul.

(DePaul, by the way, lost by 21 at home to St. John's today and is now 0-16, with 10 of those 16 losses coming by at least 15 points. The Blue Demons have road games left at West Virginia and Georgetown -- their last two chances to pick up a conference win before they get to the Garden.)

But it was a pleasure to see the Hoyas actually win a game. It's the first time I've actually seen them win a game since the Jan. 14 home game against Syracuse. Seriously. The Rutgers and South Florida games weren't on TV, and I can't get the ESPN360 to work on this laptop. So that was fun, and who knows. Maybe they can at least make life tough on somebody in the Big East tournament.

I'm not getting carried away, though. They played a bad enough game today that they could have lost it to anyone -- St. John's and DePaul included. They won because Villanova, which nearly lost to DePaul on Wednesday, played even worse. Because the Wildcats are in the middle of a glitch that must be corrected by the end of next week if they want to do any postseason damage. Because Scottie Reynolds played one of the worst games of his career. And sure, because Summers hit a couple of threes.

Bottom line, there's no way to figure any of this. And every time one of these games goes the way of the impossible, it's a reminder that tomorrow is March 1, and it's all about to get gloriously insane.

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