Bruins and Hoyas meet in Midwest Regional action
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Second-round action in the 2012 NCAA Tournament continues this afternoon, as the Belmont Bruins battle the Georgetown Hoyas in the Midwest Region, with the winner moving on to face either San Diego State on NC State on Sunday.
Belmont received the No. 14 seed in the Midwest after going an impressive 27-7 this year, and recently winning its fifth Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament title in seven years. The Bruins comes into the tourney riding a 14-game win streak, which just so happens to be the longest current streak in the nation, and the program's longest since becoming an NCAA Division I member in 1996-97.
Belmont is appearing in its fifth NCAA Tournament (2006-08, 2011, 2012), and is still in search of its first win. The Bruins are one of only three teams in the nation to claim five automatic NCAA Tournament bids since 2006 -- Kansas and Memphis being the others.
As for Georgetown, it picked up the third seed in the Midwest after logging a 23-8 record in 2011-12. While GU notched its sixth 20-win campaign in the last eight seasons, the team is 3-3 in its last six games coming into this event, and dropped a 72-70 double-overtime thriller to Cincinnati in the Big East Conference Tournament quarterfinals on March 8.
The Hoyas are in the Big Dance for the sixth time in the past seven years, and this is their 28th NCAA Tournament appearance all-time (45-25). Georgetown has one national title to its credit (1984).
Belmont and Georgetown met just one time previously, that game taking place in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The second-seeded Hoyas defeated the 15th-seeded Bruins, 80-55, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Belmont's Kerron Johnson earned Atlantic Sun Tournament MVP honors, while Ian Clark was named to the All-Tournament Team. Johnson (14.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg), Clark (12.7 ppg) and Drew Hanlen (10.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg) were named First Team All- Atlantic Sun for the season, while Mick Hedgepeth (9.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) was named to the Second Team. As a collective unit, the Bruins shot 48.4 percent from the field, which included a 37.8 percent showing from three-point range, in putting up a gaudy 81.5 ppg (fourth-best nationally). Defensively, the squad allows 67.3 ppg on typical shooting outputs of 42.4 percent overall and 33.8 percent from beyond the arc, and Belmont drains nearly nine treys per outing, while the opposition does so just shy of six times. Additionally, the Bruins own favorable margins in both rebounding (+3.1) and turnovers (+2.1).
Georgetown features First Team All-Big East selection Jason Clark (13.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and Third Teamer Henry Sims (11.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.5 apg), the two helping the club net 69.1 ppg on 46.3 percent field goal efficiency. Hollis Thompson adds 12.7 points and 5.6 caroms per contest to the mix, but where the Hoyas really earn their keep is at the defensive end as foes are limited to 59.2 ppg on shooting efforts that are well below acceptable levels (.387 overall, .270 from three-point range). GU also has positive differentials in both rebounding (+5.7) and turnovers (+0.4), and with Sims and Otto Porter leading the way, the team is credited with nearly five blocked shots per affair.
03/16 11:41:15 ET