Game 21 - Georgetown (5-15) vs. DePaul (9-11)
Nuts & Bolts
Date: January 24, 2023
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
How to Watch: Fox Sports 1
Matchup History: Georgetown leads all-time series 33-14
Last Meeting: DePaul def. Georgetown 83-76 on 12/29/22
Betting Lines: Via DraftKings
Spread: Georgetown +2
Prediction: Georgetown 77, DePaul 71
Official Game Notes: HERE
Tuesday night in D.C. is Georgetown’s best chance to win a Big East game this season.
The DePaul Blue Demons currently sit ninth in the conference and are in town to take on a Hoyas team that is 0-9 in conference play this season, riding a 29-game Big East losing streak dating back to the beginning of last season.
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Georgetown is a 2-point underdog at home against DePaul. That is most assuredly the most marginal spread that Georgetown will have in any game for the remainder of its 11 games.
Above, I predict a Georgetown win (I’m insane), but there’s a caveat to this: If Brandon Murray plays and is himself,
meaning he’s healthy, Georgetown wins.
Murray has missed three of Georgetown’s last four games. In the three he missed, the Hoyas have lost by an average of 16 points. In the one game he played at Villanova on MLK Day, it was a four point loss for Georgetown that went down to the final minute.
A healthy Murray paired with point guard Primo Spears, who averaged 28 points per game last week, including a career-high 37 points at Xavier, and the Hoyas have more than a chance to snag the first conference win in over 22 months.
Of course, scoring is only half the battle. Georgetown can score, although it has been inconsistent at times. However, one consistency with the Hoyas has been its defense, or lack thereof.
There are 358 Division I men’s basketball teams across the country. Georgetown currently ranks 351st in points allowed per game (78.6). Forget the offense, the Hoyas need stops.
“If you’re getting that type of offensive output, you should be able to win. Our defense is letting us down right now,” Georgetown Head Coach Patrick Ewing said following Saturday’s 95-82 loss to Xavier. “We have to be able to get stops when we need to get stops.”
Some big “if’s” regarding defensive stops and Brandon Murray playing, but you have to figure that since Georgetown has undoubtedly played well enough to win
up to this point, then it’s only a matter of time.
It might be now or never for the Hoyas.
From 2010 until early 2017, Georgetown beat DePaul in 12 out of 13 matchups, more often than not by double-digits.
This is personal for DePaul, who is no longer the doormat of the Big East. Ironically, it’s the team that has terrorized them in the past, and on Tuesday night the Blue Demons play Georgetown for the second time this season, in a game that many, myself included, are calling the Hoyas’ best chance to win a conference game this season.
What do you think DePaul thinks of that narrative?
I’ve questioned teams motivation against Georgetown on multiple occasions this season. It feels like roughly half the teams in the conference could virtually sleepwalk to victory against the Hoyas.
DePaul is not one of those teams. However, what they lack in overall talent, they more than make up for in motivation to beat Georgetown and not reclaim the infamous title of Big East doormat.
Less than a month ago, the Blue Demons knocked off Georgetown by seven in Chicago. Umoja Gibson is my player to watch on Tuesday because he scored 31 points in the first meeting on December 29, shooting 8-12 from the field, including 5-8 from beyond the arc and 10-10 from the free throw line.
DePaul has been at the bottom before and it’ll do whatever it can to avoid going back there. A great way to avoid it would be to sweep Georgetown for the second straight season and earn its fourth conference win of the year.
Last year’s matchup in D.C. resulted in a 68-65 win for DePaul, which was Georgetown’s closest conference loss all season.
Expect it to be close. Expect both teams to be desperate. Doesn’t that make for the best basketball?