If we’ve learned anything about college basketball this season, it’s that we’ve learned next to nothing.
Moving to No. 1 in the polls is tantamount to getting a Cosa Nostra kiss of death. The top-ranked team in the country lost a game the following week five straight times, and in a span of six weeks there was a change at the top of the mountain. Indiana, Michigan, Louisville and Duke (twice) couldn’t sustain enough traction to remain on top. Being No. 1 was more contagious than pink eye.
And the carnage hasn’t been limited to the No. 1 teams. On Wednesday night Michigan, ranked No. 4, was somehow beaten by a Penn State team that had gone into the game with a fat 0-14 Big Ten record.
With chaos everywhere, investors are looking desperately for blue chip stocks as the season grinds to a close, and there might not be a safer haven than in the nation’s capital, where the Georgetown Hoyas are going about their business and avoiding the pratfalls that everyone else seems to be experiencing.
After Wednesday’s double-OT win over Connecticut, G-Town is 22-4 overall, 14-1 at home, 6-2 on the road, 14-8 ATS and the proud owner of a 10-game Big East winning streak that figures to run to 11 when the Hoyas take care of Rutgers on Saturday afternoon in D.C. The Hoyas close out the season next week at Villanova and at home in a spine-stiffener against Syracuse before heading to New York for the Big East Tournament.
The Big East has had mixed results in recent years in the NCAA Tournament, but Georgetown has several factors in its favor:
1. The Hoyas don’t buckle against good competition. Georgetown has beaten five ranked teams this season on their way to a current No. 7 ranking.
2. Defense. During its current streak, Georgetown held the Irish to 47 at Notre Dame, the Bearcats to 55 at Cincinnati and (cherry on the sundae) the Orange to 55 at Syracuse. Not surprising that the Hoyas are 9-1 ATS over that time.
3. Probable conference player of the year Otto Porter has been playing out of his mind. The 6-foot-8 string bean had 22 points in the win at UConn, a few nights after sending Jim Boeheim to his Rolaids stash several times by torching the Orange for 33 (and 8 rebounds). Porter had the game-winning hoop against UConn in a game in which the Hoyas trailed in the late going.“They could have packed it in, and they didn’t,” G-Town coach John Thompson III said of his club. “They fought back from a double-digit deficit with three of four minutes left.
Nothing is forever in college basketball and the gods might choose to smite the Hoys next. But right now Georgetown is riding high and looks like a bargain at 15/1 to win the NCAA title.