Georgetown Hoyas (27-7) vs. Belmont Bruins (22-9)
When: Thursday, 2:40 p.m.
Where: Winston-Salem, N.C.
1. "Their offense is unstoppable." That's a direct quote from college hoops statistical stallion Ken Pomeroy via DC Sports Bog, and it's an odd one considering Georgetown was 11th in the Big East in scoring this season. However, KenPom's analysis reveals that the Hoyas are third in the nation in offensive efficiency, right behind UNC and Texas. As the man said, "People get sucked in and think they're a defensive team, but considering the number of possessions they get, their offense is incredible."
2. Twin pillars of pro potential. I wrote last year that Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert would be next off of Georgetown's NBA assembly line that has produced Ewing, 'Zo, Dikembe and AI (not to mention Jahidi, Othello and Boumtje-Boumtje!). Fast forward 12 months, a Sweet 16 appearance and a junior season of pissing excellence, and their pro stock has improved a bit. NBADraft.net has Green going eighth overall while Draft Express has him at 15th, and the former has Hibbert going 17th overall (in '08) while the latter has him at 10th. Regardless, NBADraft.net still has Greg Ostertag as Hibbert's player comparison, which is a crime to draftniks everywhere.
3. A story of fathers and sons. John Thompson Jr. and Patrick Ewing dominated college basketball from '82-85, making it to three Final Fours and winning a national championship. Now it's their kids' turn ... kind of. JT III's time at the helm has been marked by constant improvement (NIT in year one, Sweet 16 in year two and a Big East regular season championship in this, his third year), but Patrick Ewing Jr.'s time on the court has been limited since transferring from Indiana. He only averaged 13 minutes and four points/game this season, but has been getting more PT of late; scoring 22 and grabbing nine boards against 'Cuse and UConn. CBS will shine a light on this as long as Georgetown is still in the Tournament, which should be awhile. — Jamie Mottram
1. Live by the Three... Belmont upset the Atlantic Sun conference's regular-season champion East Tennessee State on its home floor in the worst way possible — with a 94-67 rout underwritten by a flurry three-pointers. Belmont made 12 in the first half alone, including a desperation shot at the buzzer — the salt in the wound that made it 49-30. The team shot 48.3 percent from behind the arc (only slightly worse than the 50.0 percent it shot overall) with nearly half its field goals being threes. This should bode well for the tourney, where the only chance tiny schools like Belmont (which qualified for the second year in a row, and the second time in school history) is to get hot from 3-point territory. Schools like Belmont may not have the opportunities for such an upset much longer, however — once again, there is grumbling that the college three-point should be pushed back at least a foot, or perhaps even all the way to the NBA distance. Of course, we've heard this all before.
2. The People Behind The Music. Sure, country star Vince Gill is Belmont's most famous alum and the basketball team's biggest fan, but as a graduate of the schools's Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business, he's something of an anomaly. The CEMB is the Country (and Christian) music industry's largest incubator of future studio techs, songwriters, managers, entertainment lawyers and label execs. The school has practitioners from each of those professions on the faculty (along with professional expert witnesses, the veterans of those pesky intellectual property lawsuits). Each year, hundreds of Belmont students stock Nashville's intern programs, and other famous alumni include country singers Trisha Yearwood, Braid Paisley, and Josh Turner.
3. Mike Curb? The Belmont Bruins' home court is the Curb Event Center, which, like the CEMB, has been underwritten by Mike Curb. Who is Mike Curb, you ask? Well, he's the university benefactor who wrote the song "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda (Go Little Honda)" while a freshman in college, which he somehow parlayed into a career as a record industry mini-mogul. His later band The Mike Curb Congregation toured with the Osmonds and sold millions of albums despite sounding more white bread than even Bread itself. That's because Curb himself has a bit of a conservative streak — he also wrote "Together, A New Beginning," the campaign song for Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign, while he was the lieutenant governor of California. More often than not, his politics clouded his judgment. While running MGM Records in the 1970s, he brought aboard Roy Orbison and the Osmonds, and dumped The Velvet Underground because he didn't like the drug references. — Greg Lindsay