Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sporting News preview: Davidson/Georgetown

Midwest Matchup: No. 2 Georgetown vs. No. 10 Davidson

People thought little Davidson had a chance against Gonzaga on Friday, a game the school ended up winning. Sunday against Georgetown will be another story. The Wildcats are back to their customary place as David against Goliath, but after what Stephen Curry did to the Zags, who wants to miss the encore?

Davidson game plan: It would be easy to say "let Stephen Curry shoot," and that's of course a big part of it. But more importantly, the Wildcats have to find a way to not get overwhelmed by the Hoyas. Gonzaga towered over Davidson, and Georgetown is even bigger, not to mention more athletic. Running its motion offense and forcing turnovers will be Davidson's only hopes.

Georgetown game plan: Don't let Stephen Curry shoot. Gonzaga couldn't do it, but reality says there's just no way Curry can hit 8-of-10 3s two games in a row even if the Hoyas ignore him. Or is there? In any event, you can bet Georgetown -- which leads the nation in field-goal percentage defense -- will be taking it as a special challenge to shut down Curry. And if Curry doesn't get at least 30, the Wildcats can't win.

X-factor: Ball control. Davidson won't even try to beat Georgetown and 7-2 Roy Hibbert inside. The Wildcats know they'll lose the battle on the boards, but there's hope to be found in the 15 turnovers Maryland-Baltimore County forced against the Hoyas on Friday. Georgetown guards Austin Freeman and Jessie Sapp had three apiece, and if Davidson can squeeze a few more out of those two, there's a chance.

Bottom line: Watching those two teams on the court, it simply seems impossible that Davidson can handle Georgetown's sheer physicality. The entire arena will be behind the Wildcats, but it won't be enough.

(Editorial comment from WB: We'll see about that! We've seen upset after upset already in this tournament.....there's room for at least one more upset!)

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