With only four games remaining in the season, the Georgetown men’s basketball team (14-13, 7-7 Big East) will attempt to crack the right side of .500 in conference play with a matchup against No. 7 Xavier (23-3, 11-3 Big East) after dropping two straight conference games. The last defeat came on Wednesday night to Seton Hall (18-7, 8-5 Big East), 72-64, as the Pirates completed the season sweep of the Hoyas. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. at Verizon Center, with the television broadcast provided by FOX.
One of the only three losses the Musketeers have suffered this season came at the hands of the Hoyas. On Jan. 19, Georgetown shocked the nation when they defeated Xavier in the Cintas Center, 81-72. Georgetown sophomore guard Tre Campbell erupted for a career-high 21 points, including five three-pointers, in the upset.
The Musketeers have dropped only one game since. Fresh off a win against No. 23 Providence (19-8, 7-7 Big East) that featured a triple double from junior guard Myles Davis, Xavier will carry plenty of momentum entering the meeting with the Hoyas. Head Coach Chris Mack’s squad averages 79.7 points per game, while giving up only 68.4, up to this point. Their 41.4 rebounds per game are good for 13th in the nation.
The Hoyas will want to capitalize on the spectacular play of freshman center Jessie Govan, who scored a career-high 27 points in the losing effort against Seton Hall. Govan is just the second freshman under Head Coach John Thompson III to reach that mark, trailing only his teammate, senior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, for the most points scored by a freshman in a single game. The 6-foot-10 center was forced to dive into a starting role after senior center Bradley Hayes broke his hand prior to the Hoyas’ loss away at Providence.
With their current record, the Hoyas have very little hope of making the Big Dance in March with an at-large bid. More likely, the team is vying for a spot in the NIT. Because Xavier is ranked so highly in the national polls, this will be one of the last chances for Georgetown to make a big impression for the selection committee before Selection Sunday.
One last option that could see Georgetown enter the tournament would be an upset run in the Big East Tournament that will take place March 9-12. The Hoyas would currently serve as the seventh seed in the conference tournament, and desperately require a big turnaround to improve their position before heading to Madison Square Garden.