Is Georgetown for Real?

Tony Salinas: Is Georgetown for Real?

The Georgetown Hoyas enter tonight's big TV game at #2 Syracuse as the eleventh ranked team in the nation. They currently sit at 8-3 in the Big East standings, and are starting to get some run in the national media as a potential Final Four threat in the Big Dance. Hey, if you're doing well in the Big East, the media automatically thinks you're a Final Four threat!

We saw last year that this can be a big mistake. Connecticut sure closed very well with Kemba Walker. But, most of the other Big East powers and darkhorses laid giant eggs. And, that includes Georgetown, who's laid a few of those recently:

Last Year: Georgetown (-5) lost to Virginia Commonwealth 74-56 in the first round
Two Years Ago: Georgetown (-13) lost to Ohio 97-83 in the first round
Three Years Ago: Didn't qualify for the Dance (lost in their NIT opener)
Four Years Ago: Georgetown (-4) lost to Davidson 74-70 in the second round

Georgetown missed the spread last year by 23 points in their first round loss to VCU, and missed the spread by 27 points the year before in their opener against Ohio. EMBARRASSING!

So, it should take a lot for the media to start taking Georgetown seriously as a postseason threat. Have they been providing a lot? NO! In fact, a closer look suggests that Georgetown is having trouble meeting expectations against a relatively soft schedule.

*Georgetown is 3-7 ATS its last 10 games
*Georgetown didn't play conference powers Syracuse or Notre Dame within that stretch
*Georgetown's best recent results are coming against losing, slumping, or otherwise unimpressive teams

Here's a quick look:

  • Georgetown just beat South Florida very convincingly, in their best game in weeks. Nobody could complain about the 75-45 victory...even if South Florida probably isn't a top 100 team at the moment. The best Hoyas performance in recent weeks came against a team that won't be in the Big Dance.

  • Georgetown did outclass Connecticut in the game before that. This is the same UCONN team that's 1-5 straight up its last six games, and who just got bombed this past Monday by Louisville. Georgetown's second best recent game came against a team that's fallen off the map.

  • Georgetown lost at Pittsburgh 72-60 in a game that was supposed to be a toss-up. The Panthers are playing better lately, but are still 4-7 in Big East action. The Panthers need to rally to make the Big Dance, yet they beat Georgetown by double digits.

  • Georgetown beat a poor Rutgers team 52-50 as 10-point home favorites. Rutgers lost to Depaul! And, they're 1-4 their last five games. Georgetown barely beat them. (So, the two good games that got the media excited were preceded by BAD results against Pitt and Rutgers)

  • Georgetown won at lowly DePaul but failed to match Vegas expectations.

  • Georgetown had a big win at St. John's. No complaints there. Though, Syracuse just annihilated the Red Storm on the same court. St. John's isn't a top 100 team this year, and probably wouldn't be in the top 150 if they hadn't hung tough with overrated Duke.

  • Georgetown lost at home to Cincinnati by four points as six point favorites. That's another double digit miss against the Vegas spread.

  • Georgetown lost by 12 points on the road at West Virginia as two-point underdogs. Again, a double digit miss.

This is what I'm talking about. Georgetown is clearly better than teams who aren't in the top 100 like South Florida, St. John's, or DePaul. But, they lost in very unimpressive fashion to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and West Virginia. That's a top 12 team?

We'll find out more tonight when the Hoyas visit Syracuse. They care currently underdogs of +9 as I write this. There's room with a number that high for the team to play poorly for a half and still hang within the number. And, maybe Vegas is overrating Syracuse a bit since they're back at full strength. In most seasons, Georgetown would be an automatic play for me at that kind of line in a game matching ranked teams. I have to decide if Georgetown really deserves to be ranked...and if losses by 12 at both Pittsburgh and West Virginia are warning signs of an even bigger debacle at Syracuse.

I have a lot of great matchups to choose from on this very busy Wednesday card. There are some great TV games like Duke-North Carolina, Kansas-Baylor, and Notre Dame-West Virginia in addition to the Georgetown/Syracuse game we just talked about. There are also off-the-radar conferences in action like the Colonial, MAC, and Missouri Valley. I've found some great value spots in those leagues this year.

You'll have to sign up for service to find out who my official plays are. You can do that by calling my office at 1-888-536-8880. Game day releases are always available a few hours before first tip. Today is a great day to test the waters if you want to see what it's all about at a very affordable price.

You regulars know I love betting value underdogs in college basketball. One of the secrets to making that approach work is knowing which dogs to AVOID! Don't guess wrong in the marquee games Wednesday Night. Be sure you're GETTING THE BEST OF IT with TONY SALINAS!


Today’s Hot Plays