|Men's College Basketball|
Georgetown (2-2) vs. (10) Virginia Commonwealth (4-1)
Sunday, November 24, 2 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Scott Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coliseo Roberto Clemente (10,000) -- San Juan, Puerto Rico. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Georgetown 1-0, VCU 2-0. Away Record: Georgetown 0-0, VCU 1-0. Neutral Record: Georgetown 1-2, VCU 1-1. Conference Record: Georgetown 0-0, VCU 0-0. Series Record: Virginia Commonwealth leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The 10th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth Rams and Georgetown Hoyas will conclude their business at the Puerto Rico Tip Off on Sunday, when they meet in the fifth-place consolation matchup at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente.
Shaka Smart's Rams were favorites to play for the tournament title, but found themselves on the wrong end of an 85-67 loss to Florida State in Thursday's first round. VCU, which came into the tournament with a 3-0 record, found its way back into the win column on Friday, with a 73-67 decision over Long Beach State.
The Hoyas also fell out of the championship bracket with a first-round loss on Thursday, falling to Northeastern (63-56). John Thompson III's squad pulled even on the year (2-2) on Friday, with a 90-63 romp over Kansas State.
This marks the third meeting between these two teams. VCU has won both prior matchups, including a 74-56 win in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
After a poor performance at the offensive end in the first round, Georgetown unloaded on the Wildcats a day later, rolling up a season-high 90 points in a 27-point rout. The Hoyas converted an eye-popping 63.5 percent of their shots against Kansas State (33-of-52), as four players finishing in double figures in the lopsided win. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera led the charge with a game-high 25 points. Jabril Trawick poured in 16 points, followed by Joshua Smith and Markel Starks, with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
The offensive performance was strong, but not necessarily too far out of the norm for Georgetown, which is averaging a solid 77.2 ppg this season on .488 shooting. Smith-Rivera is shooting over 46 percent from the floor, including 42 percent from 3-point range to top the team in the scoring column at 17.3 ppg. Starks is a dual threat in the backcourt as both a scorer (14.8 ppg) and distributor (4.5 apg). Smith is a huge body in the middle and adds 13.3 ppg on .645 shooting.
The Rams have shown the ability to win at either end of the floor this season, and come into this contest with a +10.0 scoring margin, averaging 77.4 ppg, while allowing 67.4. Treveon Graham leads the way from the backcourt, averaging 15.0 ppg. Forward Juvonte Reddic (11.6 ppg) and guard Rob Brandenberg (11.6 ppg) have provided solid options as well at the offensive end. Briante Weber is just under double-digits in scoring (9.8 ppg), but is the team's top distributor (3.6 apg).
The 49ers held their ground in the first half, as neither team was able to get much distance, with nine ties and 11 lead changes over the first 20 minutes of action. The second half saw LBSU use a 6-0 run to take an eight-point lead early, only to have VCU follow with a 13-0 run to regain control that the Rams wouldn't relinquish. Four of the team's five starters notched double figures in the win, led by Brandenberg's 18 points. Reddic poured in 17 points and completed a double-double with 10 rebounds. Weber finished with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Graham chipped in with 12 points.
This game should be highly entertaining with both squads showing mental toughness to bounce back from surprising losses. The Hoyas will try to enforce their will, but the Rams won't back down one bit.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Commonwealth 73, Georgetown 70
11/24 10:33:15 ET