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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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March Madness Second Round Georgetown vs. Belmont Odds, Start Time, Free Pick


The NCAA Tournament second round Continues on Friday. In the Midwest Region the No. 3 seed Georgetown Hoyas will take on the No. 14 seed Belmont Bruins.  The game is scheduled for a 3:10 pm start time and it will be televised nationally on CBS. Currently the odds have Georgetown favored by 3.5 points with the total for the game sitting at 133.5 points. 

Free Analysis: There weren’t a lot of people outside of the Hoyas’ locker room at the beginning of the season who thought they would be in the tournament, let alone nationally ranked at the end of the regular season.  Picked to finish in 10th place in the Big East preseason poll, the Hoyas surprised most experts with a strong regular season that included wins over Alabama, Louisville, Notre Dame and Connecticut. John Thompson III has put together another Hoyas team that is well balanced with versatile players who can do a little bit of everything. Jason Clark leads the way offensively with 14 points a night; Hollis Thompson (13), Henry Sims (11) and Otto Porter (9) are right behind him. Each of them are ready to step up take over offensively if a team tries to focus in on one of them in particular. The Hoyas are one of the best defensive teams in the field as they have allowed just 59.2 ppg (17th) on 38.7% shooting (16th), plus they really clamp down beyond the arc, where teams shot just 27 percent against them on the year, which is 1st in the country. They’re a mediocre three-point shooting team themselves, but that didn’t stop them from going 8-4 against the RPI Top 50. The Hoyas are looking to win their first tournament game since 2008. For the fifth time in six years, the Bruins are representing the Atlantic Sun Conference after winning the regular season and tournament championships. The rest of the league will not miss them as they are set to join the Ohio Valley Conference next season. The Bruins, in search of their first tournament victory in school history, are one of the highest scoring teams in the field, scoring 81 a night. Belmont boasts four players who average double figures in scoring, led by guard Kerron Johnson’s 14.1 points. The Bruins are fourth in the nation in scoring and fifth in the country in assists (17.4), and three players shoot better than 40 percent from beyond the arc. In Scott Saunders they have a legitimate center who will keep them from being completely mismatched against high-major big men. Bruins head coach Rick Byrd will play as many as nine, sometimes even 10, guys to make sure they can keep the pace they want to offensively. The Bruins play very well together, averaging 17 assists a team.Defensively the Bruins check in at 186th in points allowed (67.3 ppg) and 138th in FG% defense (42.4%). The Bruins’ 14-game win streak is tied with Montana for the second-longest in the nation, and the team may have received a higher seed if not for surprising losses to Lipscomb, Miami (Ohio), and USC Upstate. Against the RPI Top 25, they were 0-2, but they did play Duke to within a point at the beginning of the season.

Free Pick: I like the Hoyas in this one. The Bruins are the sexy pick for a lot of folks and the are a very talented group that lost to Duke by 1 point earlier in the year, but thy are also a team that lost to Lipscomb, Miami (Ohio), and USC Upstate, plus they are just 0-2 vs the RPI Top 25. Belmont is 4th in the nation in scoring at 81.4 ppg, but Georgetown have been very solid at the defensive end this year as they have allowed just 59.2 ppg on 38.7% shooting and they should be able to hold this strong offensive club down. The Hoya's offensively have been a solid bunch as they have averaged 69.1 ppg on 46.35 shooting, which is 58th in the country and Belmont does not play great defense. The Hoyas played in the tough Big East this year and while they are a younger squad than Belmont they are still a more talented team than them. This team may have been very young at the start of the year, but they have grown up and will start what I feel will be a deep tournament run for them with an easy win here.  

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