7:00 PM ET, February 23, 2010
Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY
While Georgetown boasts a lofty ranking and appears to be playing for a high seed in the NCAA tournament, only recently has Louisville started to look like a team that will even be part of the field of 65.What the Cardinals have unquestionably done is make a move in the Big East.A three-game winning streak has Louisville in fifth place in perhaps the nation's toughest league, while the 11th-ranked Hoyas come into Tuesday's meeting at Freedom Hall looking to avoid a third straight loss and pull even with Rick Pitino's club.Georgetown (18-7, 8-6) has won six of its nine games against ranked opponents, but it's also tripped up twice this month against Rutgers and South Florida, two of the conference's bottom-feeders.The Hoyas have lost back-to-back tight games against very different opposition. The first was a stunner, a 71-68 loss to the Scarlet Knights on Feb. 14, while the latest -- 75-71 at home to then-No. 5 Syracuse on Thursday -- was easier to stomach.Georgetown fell behind the Orange by as many as 23 points in the second half before pulling within one in the final minutes, but couldn't escape with a win despite 61 points from Greg Monroe, Chris Wright and Austin Freeman."After a loss there is nothing but misery and pain, but I'm proud of how our guys responded," coach John Thompson III said. "In no way does this program, this team, believe in moral victories. But I'm just proud of our guys."While Thompson may have been encouraged by the comeback, he can't be pleased with his team's falling position in the Big East standings. Georgetown was 6-2 within the conference Jan. 23, but has gone 2-4 since to fall into a tie for sixth place.The Hoyas have one game against an NCAA tournament shoo-in -- No. 8 West Virginia -- and three against teams fighting to get into the field -- Louisville, Notre Dame and Cincinnati."We have to go on the road against a very good (Louisville) team and we have to try to get a win," Thompson said. "(Losing) is misery and pain, you know, we can't get stuck, we can't wallow in that, because the next opponent will always be a good opponent.The Cardinals (18-9, 9-5), however, seem to be working their way off the bubble and in to the tournament.Pitino's team has won three in a row and five of six, starting with a monumental 66-60 win at Syracuse on Feb. 14. A thrilling double-overtime victory over Notre Dame followed Wednesday, and Louisville earned its ninth conference win by knocking off DePaul 68-59 on Saturday.The surge couldn't have come at a better time. While the Cardinals appear to have solidified their case as a tournament team, their remaining schedule is daunting. After hosting Georgetown, they'll travel to Connecticut and Marquette before closing the regular season -- and the doors on Freedom Hall -- against Syracuse."Before the season, I thought 10 (conference) wins would get us (to the NCAA tournament), and I thought 11 would guarantee it," Pitino said. "It's going to be a fun stretch, but right now we're focused on Georgetown."The game's best battle will likely come in the low post between a pair of sophomore big men. Louisville's Samardo Samuels has averaged 17.2 points this month -- including a career-high 36 at Notre Dame -- while Georgetown's Greg Monroe has averaged 18.7 points in his last six games.Samuels and Monroe each had 10 points in Louisville's 76-58 win at the Verizon Center on Feb. 23, 2009.
|Avg Points Allowed||65.1||69.6|
|Conference||Big East||Big East|
|» Feb 23, 2010||GTWN 70, @LOU 60||Recap|