It is easy to get complacent and try to line up teams in a conference in a presumed pecking order and just know that things will shake out a certain way. The ACC has that this year. If you predict North Carolina, Duke and then some order of Wake Forest, Clemson and Miami; you probably won't be too far afield for the top 5 teams. The Big East is no where near that neat and tidy.
Before the season started, it was anyone's guess between UConn, Pitt, Louisville and Notre Dame as to the top team. UConn and Louisville had the most talent and the top flight talent. Pitt and Notre Dame had fine young coaches with veteran players and great team chemistry. Choosing any of those teams to win the Big East were defensible. After that, picking a team like Marquette, Villanova, Syracuse, West Virginia or Georgetown seemed too speculative. There were too many questions on those teams.
Moving through the non-conference slate, it looked like UConn would be the class of the conference by a slight margin over Pitt. Notre Dame was very good. Louisville was struggling with what has become a typical December malaise. Syracuse, West Virginia, Villanova and Georgetown were much not too far behind.
Still, there are givens. A team is not going to Storrs (or in this case, Hartford) and take a game from the Huskies right from the opening tip to the end. The number 2 team in the country never had the lead and couldn't even tie after starting 0-0. Georgetown dominated UConn on their way to a 84-73 win.
The Hoyas completely packed it in against UConn. Playing a tight zone on defense, giving the Huskies no room to attack the basket or pass it inside to Thabeet. They completely kept UConn from getting out in transition. Not in what has been a typically slow tempo Georgetown game. It was simply a strong defense from end-to-end that did not let UConn leak out and get ahead of the defense. The Huskies, instead, found themselves settling for pull-up jumpers and not being able to get to the basket.
Hasheem Thabeet was a non-factor on offense with only four shot attempts in 34 minutes, and only seven rebounds. While he did have seven blocked shots, too many of them were followed by Georgetown getting another opportunity.
Georgetown actually displayed a lot more athleticism and willingness to attack the basket with Greg Monroe, DeJuan Summers and Chris Wright. While the Hoyas displayed some of the Princeton offense in spells, they were not afraid to use their natural athleticism, talent and speed to go right at the Huskies. Without Roy Hibbert and John Wallace, the team may not be as efficient on offense, but they are more dynamic and able to play at a pace that allows them to score in larger numbers.
While there was no doubt Georgetown had shown in the non-conference schedule that they were going to be better than expected. Dismantling Maryland, beating Memphis and only a loss to Tennessee in the Old Spice Classic showed that they were quite good.
Still, to not just win, but dominate UConn in Hartford. Well that was a vibrant flare being fired that even home court for a top-5 team hardly guarantees anything in the Big East this year. To say nothing of the fact that Georgetown now has to be considered to be in the mix for the top of the Big East.
Georgetown Would Like to Remind Everyone Why the Big East Will Be So Brutal in 2009 originally appeared on NCAA Basketball FanHouse on Mon, 29 Dec 2008 22:17:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.